Learning outcomes 1

Kevin O’Brien, FAS Associate Director, Student Services (Registration, Admissions, and Service) discusses the project with Meghan Hatch, Project Manager, FAS. 

Enriching the student experience

Improved course registration experience makes Queen’s unique in Canada.

The Faculty of Arts and Science is excited to announce that as a result of the Digital Academic Calendar project, Course Learning Outcomes will now be published. The Faculty is leading the Digital Academic Calendar project on behalf of the university to improve the student experience in selecting and registering for courses while studying at Queen’s. Learning outcomes are beneficial to students as it allows them to make informed decisions on selecting universities, and programs at those universities, and, ultimately, registering in courses. They also provide students an opportunity to talk about their learning in ways that are relevant to a lay audience, both while researching prospective institutions and to employers, upon graduation. 

The first phase of the Digital Calendar was launched in 2021, which moved FAS and the university away from PDF files and provided a more engaging, informative, and responsive student experience for course selection, registration, and degree planning. It also amalgamated into one place all the calendars, previously published independently by the faculties and schools. This has given greater profile to this important material for students. 

Learning outcome 2

A sample list of of course learning outcomes.

The second stage in this three-phase project has streamlined and digitized the University’s curriculum management, improved integration with PeopleSoft, and improved curriculum governance, and concludes with the publication of learning outcomes. 

“All seven schools and faculties at Queen’s integrated their academic calendars for the first time in 2021, then we made significant improvements to curriculum management, and now the calendars are being updated to course learning outcomes, all contributing to students’ smooth progression through their degree plans and planning for their future careers,” says Jenn Stephenson, Associate Dean (Academic).

Learning outcomes convey to students what they will know or be able to do by the end of a course and publishing learning outcomes digitally will enable students to make more informed decisions about course selection in advance of the registration period.

This step in the project is designed to provide future, and current, students with increased visibility to the skills and knowledge that they will acquire from a Queen’s education and give them enhanced clarity on how to best plan their learning.

“We are the only university in Canada to be publishing Course Learning Outcomes,” says Dr. Stephenson.

Through the publication of Learning Outcomes, prospective students are now able to quickly pick their courses based on what they wish to learn and skills they want to develop.

They further allow prospective students to see what a Queen’s education offers. They will also allow graduating students to show employers the exact competencies and skillset they learned while at Queen’s.

“This change also really benefits the entire Queen’s community, supporting and making it easier for faculty and staff to guide students throughout their educational journey and  also for Queen’s grads looking for jobs and for those looking to hire Queen’s graduates ,” explains Kevin O’Brien, FAS Associate Director, Student Services (Registration, Admissions, and Service), who has led the project from the start and is leading it to completion along with Meghan Hatch, Project Manager, Faculty of Arts and Science. 

“Employers will have much greater visibility to candidate qualifications, and candidates will be able to communicate what they have learned in their courses, making the recruitment process that much more straightforward and advantageous to Queen’s grads and alumni,” he added.  

The final phase of the project is PATH, which will be a complete transformation of the student registration experience and further Queen’s uniqueness in Canada. PATH will improve integration with PeopleSoft, enabling students to quickly see courses most relevant to their requirements and interests, and combine degree audit functionality with personalized course selection and advising reports. It will also show students their timetable graphically as they build it! 

In addition to supporting the development of Queen’s digital infrastructure, completion of phase two and the launch of phase three of the project are major milestones towards supporting the FAS Strategic Plan priorities of Enriching the Student Experience and Supporting our People.

“Publishing Learning Outcomes in this way is amazingly powerful for helping students to set expectations, better understand and communicate the value of their Queen’s degree, while enhancing the stellar academic reputation that Queen’s is so proud of,” says Dr. Stephenson.