February 23, 2012
Department heads and graduate coordinators recently attended workshops that focused on the new processes for reviewing and approving academic programs.
The sessions were led by representatives of the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance, known as the Quality Council (QC).
“The information presented by Donna Woolcott and Cindy Robinson formed an excellent back-drop to the Queen’s new Quality Assurance Processes (QUQAPs), while the discussions provided opportunities to address issues of particular importance to Queen’s,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “I think the workshops and meetings gave participants a greater appreciation and understanding of the coherence of our processes and the provincial Quality Assurance Framework.”
Dr. Woolcott, QC’s executive director of quality assurance, and Ms. Robinson, QC’s general manager of quality assurance, explained the key elements of the new framework. They also highlighted resources available to help universities match student learning outcomes with degree-level expectations, which are central to Ontario’s and Queen’s new quality assurance processes.
In responding to several questions, Dr. Woolcott noted work continues on improving the methods for evaluating whether students have achieved the desired learning outcome. An upcoming symposium will allow Queen’s participants to share their expertise in creating learning outcomes and measuring student achievement.
Furthermore, Dr. Woolcott explained that the new processes are meant to instill a culture of quality and promote innovation. Each university in Ontario has built its own processes based on the provincial framework to match the institution’s unique mission and culture.
Dr. Woolcott and Ms Robinson also met with representatives from different programs at Queen’s and discussed ways the QUQAP align generally well with professional accreditation reviews.