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​​​​​​​​​​ Our Priorities - Learning Outcomes
Are Ontario students graduating with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life and work?

A focus on learning outcomes has the potential to modernize teaching and learning across the province. According to a HEQCO-convened expert panel that reviewed institutional Strategic Mandate Agreement submissions, “a deeper and system-wide commitment to measurement of learning outcomes is an opportunity for the Ontario system to show worldwide leadership.”​

HEQCO will continue to collaborate with Ontario colleges and universities to investigate the development and assessment of learning outcomes. There is wide consensus on the importance of general learning and cognitive skills, which could also underpin an effectiv​e evidence-based credit transfer system. The focus is now on reliable and valid instruments for assessing and measuring these learning outcomes, with testing embedded into ongoing assessments already familiar to students.​ 

Here are some of our projects.

The Essential Adult Skills InitiativeThe Postsecondary and Workplace Skills Project

Read about HEQCO's partnership with eCampusOntario to evaluate the use of​.​

​HEQCO's discussion of learning outcomes is organized into four classes: basic cognitive skills (numeracy and literacy), discipline-specific skills (specialised knowledg​e and skills), higher-order cognitive skills (communication and critical thinking), and transferable skills (teamwork, initiative and resilience).


Top Reads
Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook
Multiple authors
New handbook helps practitioners assess program-level learning outcomes

The Great Skills Divide / Bridging the Divide​​​​
Sophie Borwein and Erica Refling
Pursuing an entry-level job? BYO work experience

The Language of Learning Outcomes: Definitions and Assessments​
Sarah Brumwell, Fiona Deller and Alexandra MacFarlane​
Report examines the language of learning outcomes

@ Issue - Making the Grade? Troubling Trends in Postsecondary Student Literacy
@ Issue - Emphasizing Numeracy as an Essential Skill
Nicholas Dion and Vicky Maldonado
Troubling Trends in Postsecondary Student Literacy / Numeracy skill development, assessment in Ontario higher education doesn’t add up

Managing for Quality: Classifying Learning Outcomes​ (blog post)
Harvey Weingarten
We need to define the different categories of learning outcomes, and assess our progress and key strategies for each class of learning outcomes.