Queen's Learning Outcomes Assessment

Learning Outcomes Project
Learning Outcomes Project

Cognitive Assessment Redesign (CAR)

Template for expression of interest (word file 0.09MB)


⇒ Is developing critical thinking, creative thinking or problem solving one of the goals for your course?

⇒ Would financial resources and a support network help you achieve this goal?

⇒ Would you like to know more about student learning in your class?

⇒ Do you want an opportunity to be part of assessment research?


Instructors teaching first and fourth year courses in fall 2018 or winter 2019 are invited to submit an expression of interest to redesign course assessments to enhance the development of critical thinking, creative thinking or problem solving. Successful applicants will receive support from assessment specialists, be part of a peer network and receive a $2,000 grant to refine or create high quality assessments to promote and assess cognitive skills. There will be five grants for first-year courses and up to twenty grants for fourth-year courses. Successful applicants will act as researchers and co-investigators in the redesign process while also having the opportunity to participate in future publications and presentations. This initiative is supported by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and continues work from a previous HEQCO-funded research project to assess learning outcomes.

Grant Amount: $2,000                                                                                  

Round 1: Deadline extended until August 27th 2018

Round 2: Submissions by November 30th 2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Examples of potential use of funds:

  • Teaching Assistants or facilitators
  • Costs related to student learning activities, e.g. materials, equipment, field trips, guest speakers
  • Development of teaching assessment materials (RA/ TA)
  • Travel for activities related to the project

Applicants are encouraged to consult with the project team if alternate use of funds is requested.


Instructors may be from any academic unit but must be teaching a first or fourth year undergraduate course in fall 2018 or winter 2019.

What is involved?

Successful applicants will be part of a network of 25 instructors from across campus and will be provided with educational and assessment support from a hub leader in their field. The Cognitive Assessment Redesign is coordinated by the Office of the Provost and the Centre for Teaching and Learning, with partial funding from The Higher Education Quality Council (HEQCO). Students enrolled in funded courses may be invited to participate in a standardized critical thinking test. Those scores along with other related data on student performance will serve to assess the effectiveness of course-based assessments in promoting and assessing cognitive skills.

Selected Instructors will be expected to:

  • Attend meetings with peers as part of a network (two meetings per term)
  • Redesign course assessment(s) and tailor them to promote and assess critical thinking, creative thinking, and/or problem solving
  • Where applicable, train Teaching Assistants to evaluate the course assignments using an assignment-specific rubrics (with support from a hub leader) for course grading purposes.
  • Offer expertise or advice to others in their department who are interested in developing or redesigning assessment materials
  • Participate in data collection, data collaboration and co-investigation of course assessment progress

Instructors will be encouraged to undertake a scholarly investigation of their assessment redesign.

Expression of interest

Your expression of interest will briefly address sections 1-4 on the form provided. Applicant’s name, appointment and department affiliation. Proposals from a team of applicants should identify one person as the primary contact. Template for expression of interest (word file 0.09MB)

  1. Proposed course name, course code, and intended learning outcome(s) for the assessment (critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving).
  2. How do you currently encourage the development of cognitive skills in your course?
  3. How do you currently assess student cognitive development?
  4. How might you improve those assessments?


  • A co-signature from the applicant/primary contact’s Head/Director, Dean or Associate Dean.  

Selection Criteria

  1. Suitability and feasibility of the proposed assessment/ task
  2. Commitment of the instructor and academic unit to the project
  3. Sustainability of the intervention for ongoing implementation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Proposals must be submitted electronically as a PDF to CAR-Network@queensu.ca no later than 4:00 pm on August 27th for fall term courses and November 30th 2018 for winter term courses. Successful fall term candidates will be contacted by August 24th 2018. If you would like more information, please contact Wanda Beyer wanda.beyer@queensu.ca.

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