2014 Learning Outcomes Symposium

October 16, 2014 – October 17, 2014

Eaton Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, ON


Following on the heels of two highly successful past conferences in 2012 (Learning Outcomes Assessment: a Practical Guide) and 2013 (Learning Outcomes Assessment: Practically Speaking) was this year’s event, Learning Outcomes: A Toolkit for Assessment

The focus this year was on how learning outcomes can be used as tools at various levels across an institution. Over 30 different workshops  touched on topics ranging from course and program assessment techniques, curriculum development and mapping, metrics and data collection, graduate and undergraduate assessments, faculty engagement, student success, and credit transfer. In addition, there were three exciting plenary sessions with 10 invited speakers, including our keynote speakers Tom Angelo, Peggy Maki, and Geoff Scott. This year we  also invited select industry groups and companies as Exhibitors, to discuss the latest tools and technology for improving learning outcomes assessment.


If you have any questions, please contact Hillary Barron at hbarron@cou.on.ca or 416-979-2165 ext. 212.






Introductory Plenary: Tom Angelo (moderator), Eileen DeCourcy,  Peter Wolf, Leesa Wheelahan, Cindy Hazell, Paul Stenton, Ross Finnie (8:30-10:00am; Churchill Ballroom)

J. Shepherd, et al. (10:30 – 11:30am; Mountbatten Room)

S. Cardinal & T. Steger (10:30 – 11:30am; Seymour Room)

J. Groen et al. (10:30 – 11:30am; Scott Room)

Aspenlieder, et al (10:30 – 11:30am; Carlyle Room)

S. McCahan et al. (10:30 – 11:30am; Gerrard Room)

T. Angelo (11:45 – 12:45pm; Mountbatten Room)

J. Rutgers & P. Epp (11:45 – 12:45pm; Carlyle Room)

E. Chamberlain (11:45 – 12:45pm; Scott Room)

J. Oughton & E. Pierre (11:45-12:45pm; Seymour Room)

N. Birch & C. Popovich (11:45 – 12:45pm; Gerrard Room)

V. Brown & T. Holmes (2:00 – 3:00pm; Mountbatten Room)

B. Crow et al. (2:00 – 3.45pm; Rossetti Room)

C. DiPietro, et al. (2:300 – 3:00pm; Scott Room)

Hewson, et al. (2:00 – 3:00pm; Gerrard Room)

J. Dawson (3:15 – 3:45pm; Scott Room)

S. Neill (3:15 – 3:45pm; Gerrard Room)

Plenary Talk 2: Peggy Maki (4:15 – 5:15pm; Churchill Room)



P. Maki (8:30 – 9:30; Mountbatten Room)

S. Welsh, et al. (8:30 – 10:15am; Scott Room)

C. Swanson, et al. (8:30 – 9:30am; Seymour Room)

J. Scott, et al. (8:30 – 9:30am; Gerrard Room)

Gordon & Donald (9:45 – 10:45am; Gerrard Room)

Plenary Talk 3: Geoff Scott (11:15 – 12:15pm; Churchill Room)


The Program Planning Committee is pleased to announce Tom Angelo, Peggy Maki, and Geoff Scott as speakers for this year’s Learning Outcomes Symposium.

TOM ANGELO  is the Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence, Assistant Provost, and Professor of Higher Education at Queens University of Charlotte (NC). Over the past twenty-five years, Tom has served – often concurrently – as a faculty member, faculty developer, assessment specialist, academic administrator and/or researcher at several institutions, including: Harvard University, UC Berkeley, the American Association for Higher Education, the University of Miami, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), and La Trobe University (Australia). An internationally recognized expert and consultant on higher education teaching and learning, outcomes assessment, and academic/faculty development, Dr. Angelo has consulted at more than 250 colleges and universities, for 60+ government agencies and professional organizations, keynoted more than 75 higher education conferences in Canada, the US and 17 other countries, and co-authored “Classroom Assessment Techniques” (1993), a higher education classic with 100,000+ copies in print.

Tom has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright Program (Italy), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal), the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Australia), and the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.

PEGGY MAKI is a higher education consultant who specializes in assisting undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities, higher education boards, higher education organizations, and disciplinary organizations integrate assessment of student learning into educational practices, processes and structures. She serves as Assessment Field Editor at Stylus Publishing, LLC; serves on several editorial advisory boards for assessment publications; and served on the national advisory board for AAC&U’s VALUE PROJECT. Recently AAC&U has appointed her to its Quality Assurance Group as the organization continues to assist institutions design their general education programs and assess students’ learning. For three years she served as sole consultant to the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and its public higher education institutions under a multi-year assessment project. From May, 2011-May, 2013 she served as consultant to the 28 public colleges and universities in Massachusetts to assist them build their assessment capacity to score students’ authentic work using the VALUE rubrics. She has presented altogether over 500 workshops and keynotes in the US and abroad.

Her handbook on assessment, Assessing for Learning: Building a Sustainable Commitment across the Institution, was published in 2004, by Stylus Publishing, LLC. In 2007 Stylus published her co-edited book, The Assessment of Doctoral Education. In 2010, her second edition of Assessing for Learning, was published by Stylus Publishing, as well as her edited collection of faculty perspectives on and experiences with assessment, Coming to Terms with Assessment. Recently AAC&U has commissioned her to write a publication that makes the case for using VALUE rubrics for assessing student learning in undergraduate education. She is the recipient of a national teaching award, The Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

GEOFF SCOTT is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education and Sustainability at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and leader of the UN-endorsed Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development – Greater Western Sydney.

Over the past thirty years Geoff has led or studied major change and leadership programs in schools, post-secondary and higher education within Australia as well as Canada, USA, UK, South Africa, Cambodia, New Zealand, and Scandinavia. His past work has included establishing nationally recognized approaches for tracking and improving higher education teaching and learning, the successful implementation of strategies for assuring academic standards, quality, student transition and retention rates, and establishing quality assurance and tracking systems for community engagement and research. He has undertaken national and international research studies on university student engagement in productive learning and retention, education for sustainability, quality assurance and improvement, change management and leadership in education and has carried out commissioned reviews and capacity building projects for post-secondary and higher education systems and universities within and beyond Australia.

Currently he is joint director of an international study of turnaround leadership for sustainability in higher education and a study of peer-based approaches to assuring assessment quality in Australian higher education for the Australian Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching.


The opening session of this year’s event will be a plenary session on What’s Working in the Learning Outcomes Toolbox. The panel will be moderated by Tom Angelo and will include the six expert panelists listed below.

Eileen DeCourcy, Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning, Humber College

Prior to assuming her current position in May, 2013, Eileen’s career has included a variety of senior positions focused on education, learning, as well as training and development. In addition to years of teaching, her experience includes school board level programming for at-risk students, corporate leadership assessment and development, and professional development programming for school and college faculty across a broad range of disciplines.

Eileen’s current responsibilities include institutional participation in teaching and learning initiatives, The Centre for Teaching & Learning, faculty professional development; eLearning and the Open Learning Centre, including on-line learning development and delivery along with support for CE programming; other initiatives related to student engagement and success activities. Her portfolio also provides support, across the institution, for the advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

Ross Finnie, Professor & Director, Education Policy Research Initiative, University of Ottawa

Ross Finnie was educated at Queen’s University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After holding positions at Laval, Carleton, and Queen’s Universities, he is now a Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Education Policy Research Initiative (EPRI) at the University of Ottawa. His teaching and research interests span a number of areas in labour and public economics, and include a focus on education. His current work includes access and barriers to participation in post-secondary education (PSE); student retention, pathways to completion, and other aspects of student experiences and student success; the role of the PSE system in responding to labour market skill shortages and otherwise helping Canadians develop the skills they need; the development of non-cognitive skills and their importance to labour market and other life outcomes; and the measurement of quality and accountability mechanisms. His most recent initiatives include using PSE institutions’ administrative data to study student retention, to identify those students at greatest risk of dropping out, and to target and subsequently evaluate programs aimed at improving students’ outcomes. New work underway involves linking PSE institutions’ data on students to their tax records in order to track students’ post-schooling outcomes and relate these to their schooling experiences.

Cindy Hazell, Professor Emeritus, Seneca College, and Board of Directors Interim-Chair, HEQCO

Cindy Dundon Hazell is professor emeritus and former Vice-President academic at Seneca College, where she had held a number of other senior positions at the college, including Dean of Continuing Education and Dean of Business, after joining the faculty in 1980. She is currently the interim chair of the Board of Directors of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), serving on the Board since January, 2013. Cindy has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Council for Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) since June, 2012, and sat on the College-University Consortium Council (CUCC) representing the Ontario College Vice-Presidents Academic from 2001 through to 2012. She was recently appointed project consultant for the Ontario Online Steering Committee by Colleges Ontario and the Council of Ontario Universities.

Cindy holds an honours Bachelor of Commerce and a Master’s degree in Education (higher education) and is pursuing her doctorate in higher education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, with a focus on system design and institutional differentiation.

Paul Stenton, Deputy Provost, University Planning, Ryerson University

Paul Stenton is the Deputy Provost and Vice Provost University Planning at Ryerson University. He has been at Ryerson since 1999 and plays a key role in academic planning, enrolment and budget planning, capital planning, institutional research and other strategic planning and policy initiatives that help promote the University’s development and mission.

During his time at Ryerson, Paul has served as Chair of the Council on University Planning and Analysis (CUPA) and sat on several province-wide committees associated with Council of Ontario Universities.

He came to Ryerson from the Universities Branch of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Prior to that, he led the research and policy analysis divisions of the Ontario Council on University Affairs and the Smith Review on postsecondary education.

Paul has a BSc in Economics from Trent University, an MA in Economics from McMaster University and an EdD in Higher Education from the University of Toronto (OISE).

Leesa Wheelahan, William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership, OISE, University of Toronto

Leesa Wheelahan joined the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in January 2014 as the William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership. She was previously an associate professor in vocational and adult education at the University of Melbourne in Australia. She is an internationally-known researcher and practitioner in tertiary education policy and community colleges. Leesa commenced her career in post-secondary education in 1994 as a community development teacher in a technical and further education Institute, which is similar to a community college in Canada. In 2002, Leesa led the development of the first set of recognition of prior learning principles for the Australian Qualifications Framework. She has undertaken several projects for the AQF and other government and statutory bodies on credit transfer, educational pathways, qualifications frameworks and the nature of qualifications. Leesa has just concluded a three-year, multi-institutional project in Australia that explored how to develop better connections between education and the labour market, and the findings and recommendations emerging from the project have significant implications for policy. These include the development of a more differentiated approach to educational pathways so they better reflect the relationship between qualifications and the labour market in different fields of education, and developing a more holistic approach to qualifications so they meet a broad range of employment, educational and social purposes.

Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, Queen’s University

Prior to his new position as Associate Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) at Queen’s University, Peter worked with the University of Guelph for 16 years, most recently in the role of Director, Teaching and Learning Initiatives, where he worked to further the teaching and learning culture through strategic projects and initiatives. Previously he was the inaugural Director of Open Learning and Educational Support and before that, the Director of Teaching Support Services.

Peter’s research has primarily focused on exploring and extending education development based on course and curriculum interventions. He has co-edited the New Directions for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Issue 112), ‘Curriculum Development in Higher Education: Faculty-Driven Processes and Practices ‘ and has published with HEQCO, the Journal of Geography in Higher Education and the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, amongst others. Peter has also been highly sought after for broad external service, for example, serving on ONCAT’s Learning Outcomes Steering Committee, on the board of directors for the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, on the Council of Ontario Universities AODA Educators’ Accessibility Resource Workgroup and on the Ontario Council of Academic Vice Presidents subcommittee on province-wide ‘Guidelines for University Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations’.

Peter is well known for his enthusiasm, experience and expertise in fostering educator-driven enhancement of higher education teaching and learning. In recent years, Peter’s work has focused on learning outcomes development and assessment, the use of learning analytics to better understand student and educator experiences and the integration of educational technologies to further teaching and learning.


The Conference Planning Committee would like to thank the following organizations for their support toward this year’s conference:

  • Council of Ontario Universities (COU)
  • Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS)
  • Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (the Quality Council
  • Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT)
  • Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB)