The final call is being made for input on the creation of Queen’s-specific learning outcomes.
Integrating learning outcomes into curricula is among the key drivers of successful student learning, and the working group is endeavoring to create a framework of both the academic and co-curricular skills and knowledge that make an education at Queen’s University distinctive. They consulted broadly across the university through focus groups, surveys, and meetings with groups like faculty boards and the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and have used that input to create a six item framework.
"By now, nearly every program at Queen's has identified learning outcomes, and this framework articulates the fundamental skills that are common to all Queen’s programs," says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and chair of the working group. "We want these outcomes to recognize that learning takes place in libraries, labs, classrooms, and so forth, but that valuable experiences are also found through activities like volunteerism, clubs, athletics, and student government."
The current version of the framework is comprised of broad abilities like Leadership, which is further articulated to include skills like initiative and persistence, and integrity and social responsibility; and Interpersonal Capacity, which includes collaboration and written and oral communication.
When drafting the learning outcomes, the working group was interested in relating the experience of not just on-campus undergraduate students, but also online learners and those in graduate studies.
“There is a diversity of student experiences here at Queen’s and we want to make sure they’re all represented here,” says Vice-Provost Scott. “We’re hoping that the campus community, which has already been generous with its time and wisdom, will provide us their input one more time. This framework is both foundational and aspirational: we want it to capture our core values and also to present ambitious challenges going forward.”
The survey will be open until Monday, Feb. 1, after which the time the working group plans to revise the learning outcomes. They hope to bring the learning outcomes framework forward for approval to the Senate Committee on Academic Development and the Senate in early spring.