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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.43 - Best Practices in Learning Outcome Development- Creating specific, informed learning outcomes for an established graduate program

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As described by Kuh and colleagues (2005) establishing clear pathways to success is an important factor in creating effective learning environments, and specific learning outcomes can guide and empower students along this pathway. Learning outcomes provide tangible goals for students to work towards and can be applied at a lesson, course, academic program or institution level. Following the implementation of the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) by the government of Ontario in 2010, the development of learning outcomes has become an important goal for post-secondary institutions to guide student learning and faculty teaching practices. The Master in Biomedical Science (MBS) Program at the University of Guelph is a unique 3-semester course-based graduate program, which enables students with diverse backgrounds in biological science to conduct traditional and non-traditional laboratory-based research in differing areas within the sciences. Through review of current best practices in learning outcome development, alignment to institution-level outcomes and consultation with students, faculty and program graduates, learning outcomes are currently being developed for the MBS program. This poster presentation will contextualize the importance of learning outcomes within the institutional QAF for Ontario and demonstrate the methodology required to create these outcomes. A summary handout of key ideas will be provided for future reference.

To this end, by engaging with this poster participants will be able to:
  • Recognize the importance and role of learning outcomes in the Ontario Post-Secondary context
  • Summarize best practices in learning outcome development
  • Explain the concept of constructive alignment
  • Evaluate the quality of written learning outcomes
  • Begin constructing learning outcomes for their own programs, courses and lessons


Tayler Bailey

Current Master of Biomedical Science (MBS) student in the department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. Graduate work focus is on teaching and learning in higher education. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours, Bio-Medical Science) in June 2015 from the University... Read More →

Additional Authors

Kerry Ritchie

Associate Professor, University of Guelph
Dr. Kerry Ritchie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. Her SoTL research focuses on Authentic Assessment and strategies for teaching critical thinking and communication skills, with special attention given... Read More →

Lisa Robertson

Assistant Professor in the department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph.

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University