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Symposium on Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practical Guide

April 12 & 13, 2012, Delta Chelsea Hotel, Toronto

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The Symposium on Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practical Guide was held on April 12 & 13 at the Delta Chelsea hotel in Toronto. It was designed to bring further clarity to the process of defining the learning outcomes of university courses and programs for our students.

Participants and speakers included international and local university and college faculty, deans, senior administrators and others involved in assessment of learning outcomes. The Symposium featured plenary sessions and hands-on working sessions for participants to share expertise and develop skills in creating learning outcomes and measuring their achievement.

The Symposium was co-sponsored by:

  • Council of Ontario Universities
  • Ontario College Quality Assurance Service
  • Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance
  • Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Please see the program for more information about the event.

Speaker Presentations

Day 1 - April 12, 2012

Plenary:  Quality Assurance in Ontario’s Post-Secondary Education
Chair: Ron Bond, Chair of the Campus Alberta Quality Council
Assessment and the Quality Assurance Framework
Speaker: Donna Woolcott, Executive Director Quality Assurance, Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance
Presentation - Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance
Assessment in the College Sector
Speaker: André Diez de Aux, Quality Assurance Associate, Ontario College Quality Assurance Service
Presentation - Outcomes Assessment in the College Sector

Program Outcomes – The Dawning of a New Era for Higher Education
Chair: Gary Boire, Provost & Vice President Academic, Trent University
Speaker: Warren Stiver, Professor and NSERC Chair in Design Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Guelph
Speaker: Peter Wolf, Director, Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, University of Guelph
Presentation - Program Outcomes: The dawning of a new era for higher education

Learning Outcomes and Effective Teaching
Chair: Gregory Finn, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Academic, Brock University
Speaker: Richard S. Ascough, Associate Professor, School of Religion, Queen’s University
Presentation - Learning Outcomes & Effective Teaching

Curriculum is Messy: A Practical Approach to Creating and Maintaining Outcomes-Based Assessment and Evaluation for New and Existing Programs
Chair: Moira McPherson, Deputy Provost, Lakehead University
Speaker: Sandy Ordowski, Curriculum Specialist, Durham College
Speaker: Jacqueline Towell, Curriculum Specialist, Durham College
Presentation - Curriculum is Messy: A Practical Approach to Creating and Maintaining Outcomes-Based Assessment and Evaluation for New and Existing Programs
Resource 1: Course topic template
Resource 2: Integrated course design template
Resource 3: New program development tool: Checklist
Resource 4: New program development tool: Checklist 2
Resource 5: New program development tool: Sample timeline
Resource 6: New program development tool: Timeline
Resource 7: Sequence of instruction document
Resource 8: Topic course learning outcome evaluation template

Taking Stock of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
Chair: Peter Ricketts, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Carleton University
Speaker: George Kuh, Director, National Institute Learning Outcomes Assessment, Champaign, IL
Presentation: Taking Stock of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
Resource 1: About National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
Resource 2: Degree Qualifications Profile 1-pager

Using NSSE Data for Assessment
Chair: Karen Menard, Associate Vice-President, McMaster University
Speaker: Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, NSSE Institute, Bloomington, IN
Presentation: Using NSSE Data for Assessment
Resource: NSSE website

The Collegiate Learning Assessment: Aligning Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
Chair: Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal Academic, Queen’s University
Speaker: Chris Jackson, Director of Business Development
Speaker: Julie Patterson, Measurement Scientist, Council for Aid to Education, New York, NY
Presentation: Aligning Teaching, Learning and the Assessment: The CLA
Resource: Collegiate Learning Assessment website

Tuning: Identifying and Measuring Sector-Based Learning Outcomes in Ontario
Chair: Anthony Clarke, Assistant Vice-President (Program Quality Assurance), University of Guelph
Speaker: Brian Frank, Director (Program Development), Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Queen’s University
Speaker: Mary Catharine Lennon, Senior Research Analyst, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
Speaker: Rhonda Lenton, Vice-Provost Academic, York University
Speaker: Joy Warkentin, Chair, Management Board, Ontario College Quality Assurance Service
Presentation: Tuning: Identifying and Measuring Sector-Based Learning Outcomes in Ontario


Day 2 - April 13, 2012

Measuring Student Learning for Policy and Planning
Chair: George Kuh, Director, National Institute Learning Outcomes Assessment, Champaign, IL
Speaker: Hamish Coates, Foundation Director of Higher Education Research at the Australian Council for Higher Education Research (ACER), Program Director with LH Martin Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Management, University of Melbourne
Presentation: Measuring Student Learning for Policy and Planning

Alignment, Engagement and Outcomes
Chair: Sarah McKinnon, Vice-President Academic, OCAD University
Speaker: Pauline Smiley, Curriculum Consultant, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Fleming College
Presentation: Alignment, Engagement and Outcomes Workshop

Measuring Outcomes with Co-op Job Performance Evaluations
Chair: Pam McLaughlin, Dean Faculty Health Science & Human Services, Fanshawe College
Speaker: Wayne Parker, Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo
Presentation: Co-operative Education and Program Outcomes: A 2-way street

Are You Evaluating What You Think You Are?
Chair: Carol Rolheiser, Director for Teaching Support & Innovation, University of Toronto
Speaker: Beverley Davies, Faculty Consultant and Professor, Niagara College
Presentation: Are you evaluating what you think you are?
Resource: Evaluation Method Guide

The Proof is in the Portfolio
Chair: Sam Scully, Chair, Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance
Speaker: Terrel Rhodes, Vice-President for Quality, Curriculum and Assessment, American Association of Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC
Presentation: Placing Student Work at the Center of Learning