Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Welcome to the website for Learning Outcomes at the University of Guelph. On these pages you will find information and resources intended to support programs, departments and instructors as they continue to develop and assess learning outcomes such that curricula become increasingly coherent, aligned and evidenced.

The University's approved Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (December 5, 2012) and Graduate Learning Outcomes (May 31, 2013) along with the 1987 Learning Objectives establish Guelph as a leader in outcomes-based pedagogy, and our academic community continues to engage in initiatives designed to enhance students' learning experiences. The five approved outcomes, both undergraduate and graduate are:

  1. Critical and Creative Thinking

  2. Literacy

  3. Global Understanding

  4. Communicating

  5. Professional and Ethical Behaviour

These five Senate-approved learning outcomes serve as the basis from which to guide the development of degree programs, specializations and courses; as a framework to ensure outcomes are clear to students and to support their achievement; and to inform the process of assessment of outcomes through institutional quality reviews of programs and departments. At the graduate level, as noted in the graduate learning outcome definitions, there is an increased emphasis on the notion of “Intellectual Independence” and “Independence of Thought” related to the Learning Outcomes of “Critical and Creative Thinking” and “Professional and Ethical Behaviour”.

With the 2008 articulation of the province's University Undergraduate and Graduate Degree-Level Expectations, postsecondary institutions across Ontario have become increasingly engaged in articulating and assessing learning outcomes to account for and ensure quality in their educational programs.

The Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents' Quality Assurance Framework (2010) requires that all institutions implement an Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP) that is consistent with their institutional mission statements and degree level expectations. The Quality Assurance Framework also requires that each individual academic unit clearly articulate learning outcomes that are appropriate to the discipline and are consistent with the institution's mission, degree level expectations and academic plans. The University of Guelph's IQAP places strong emphasis on the importance of learning outcomes and we hope these pages will be a robust resource in their development and assessment.