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Thursday, June 19 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
CON7.13 – Transferable Learning Outcomes for Undergraduate Education (Room A343)

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Imagine your middle of the road student, and you’re trying to build her communication skills, but you just don’t have enough time with each individual to make a real difference, and she seems to get contradictory advice in each of her courses. Now imagine that same student going to her next class, where she has the same expectations for communication skills, uses the same communication rubric, and receives consistent feedback in every class. In which instance do you expect greater improvement?

Outcomes-based education (Biggs & Tang, 2011) has been with us for some time, and assessment of discreet content in courses is commonly defined by learning outcomes. As essential as this knowledge is, it doesn’t always lead to higher-order thinking (Lewis & Smith, 1993), or provide your students with the ability to apply this knowledge in new settings. However, higher-order thinking and the ability to apply and transfer skills in new settings are some of the attributes defined as key employability skills (Essential Employability Skills (n.d.)), known as transferable learning outcomes. Creating an environment for a transformative learning experience isn’t just about what, where, or how you teach; it’s also about setting the goal posts to align with the “big picture”.

Queen’s University, University of Toronto and the University of Guelph are part of a HEQCO-funded consortium of institutions engaged in a three-year pilot project studying the implementation and assessment of transferable learning outcomes. These three institutions are at different stages in the articulation process, and are working with outcomes to suit their context. Each brings its own share of successes and challenges, and as with any stimulus for change, building common understandings is not always a smooth endeavor.  Each of the three panelists from the participating universities will specifically address questions related to the use of standardized measurement instruments, the use of data to effect course improvement, implications for a wider-scale rollout, and the challenges of changing the culture in higher education. At the conclusion of the presentation, panelists will engage the audience in a discussion of these issues.

Thursday June 19, 2014 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
A343 McArthur Hall

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