Course Outline Review by w6JLcR7



   Each year as part of the curriculum review process, course outlines are reviewed and updated as
   necessary, to reflect changes made in the course content. Course outline updates may include
   changes to course learning requirements, learning activities or assessment methodologies.

   There are five Ministry criteria about course learning requirements, program outcomes, learning
   activities and resources, and evaluation methods:

   1     There is congruency between the course learning requirements and the program learning

   2     There is a match between course learning requirements, course learning activities and
         learning resources.

   3     Learning methods are published and are matched to the learning requirements.

   4     Evaluation methods allow students to demonstrate the course learning requirements.

   5     PLAR opportunities exist and are based on course learning requirements.

   On the following page is a working document that can be used to help assess the above criteria.
   There is also a summary sheet that needs to be completed and included in your final report.

   All faculty members are expected to formally review their course outlines and submit one of the
   worksheets to the Team leader for each course section taught. The Team leader then will be able
   to identify any gaps in meeting the criteria and can prepare the summary sheet for the report. For
   any gaps noted, an action plan will need to be developed and included in the final

   Note: Please save the working sheets as they will assist in the revision of course outlines in the
   Course Outline Management and Mapping System (COMMS).
Course outline Check Up (Review for Course Writers) (with thanks to Devon Galway)

     Course outlines document the essence of a given course for an
     academic year. All parts of a course outline contribute to the definition
     of a course. This Course Outline Check-up provides a guide for
     reviewing an outline with a view to strengthening and improving the
     outline because it is the foundation for the design, modification, and
     updating of delivery plans.
     Once the SELF-ASSESSMENT portion is complete, the outline and the

                                                                                             Needs work
     Check-up can be given to a peer for a second look. The PEER REVIEW

     element emerges from the realization that our outlines regularly find
     themselves in the hands of third parties who need to be able to answer
     questions about curriculum coverage and equivalency.
      1. The Course Description is written from the perspective of the student/learner.      3 2 1
      2. The Course Description refers to the content, and the activities and evaluations.   3 2 1
      3. The VLOs and EES apply to this course in terms of both content and evaluations.     3 2 1
      4. All CLRs complete the phrase "… you will have demonstrated the ability to".         3 2 1
           All CLRs are written with active verbs that lead to clear assessments of          3 2 1
      6. All EKS provide clarification and elaboration of the associated CLRs.               3 2 1
           All EKS are a continuation of the phrase "… you will have demonstrated the        3 2 1
           ability to".
      8. The Learning Resources apply to all sections of the course that are offered.        3 2 1
         The Learning Activities are related to the CLRs and EKS and independent of          3 2 1
         delivery mode.
         The evidence for Evaluation/Earning Credit lists evaluation components              3 2 1
         The evidence for Evaluation/Earning Credit outlines the nature of the evaluation    3 2 1
     12. The evidence for Evaluation/Earning Credit is independent of delivery mode.         3 2 1
         The validation section in Evaluation/Earning Credit shows discrimination in the     3 2 1
         The validation section in Evaluation/Earning Credit is consistent with the          3 2 1
         evidence listed.
         The PLAR section is complete and provides a clear indication of the                 3 2 1
     Peer Review
     16. Reading the Course Description, a clear picture of the course comes to mind.        3            2          1
     17. Given the Course Hours, the mapped VLOs and EES seem reasonable.                    3            2          1
     18. Reading the CLRs and EKS, a picture of the teaching/learning comes to mind.         3            2          1
     19. The evidence for Evaluation/Earning Credit aligns with the performances in the      3            2          1
    The validation section in Evaluation/Earning Credit is reasonable given the           3 2 1
                        A) Enter the number of times there is a circle in each column.
               B) Multiply the numbers in A) by the value for the column (1 through 3)
                                                                 and enter the answer.
                   C) Add up the answers from B) and place it in the space provided.
                                                                   This is your result.

Check-up Results
 Under 25 — Keeping up with the annual curriculum updates should ensure this outline stays in good
    25 –   40 — Reviewing Lifesaver #3: Developing Course Outlines should help the areas that "Need
   Over    40 — An appointment with a Curriculum Consultant, or a PD session on Course Outlines
              might be in order.

CLR: Course Learning Requirement
Delivery mode: This is the method by which information is conveyed and interactions take place. At
       Algonquin, we have three delivery modes: online, hybrid, and in-class.
EES: Essential Employability Skills
EKS: Embedded Knowledge and Skills
Evaluation Component: These are not the specific evaluation tools but rather broader evaluation
       strategies and methods that can be used to help students demonstrate their achievement of the
       CLRs and the Essential Employability Skills (EES)
PLAR: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
VLO: Vocational Learning Outcomes

                            Notes on the parts of a Course Outline
Academic Directive E33 – Course Outlines and Course Section Information identifies eight components in
a course outline. This Course Outline Check-up looks at six of those components.

1. Course Description
   The course description begins the process of setting expectations for the course in terms of content,
   activities and evaluations. A good course description is written from the point of view of the student
   and should go a long way to ensuring that students are not surprised by anything that happens in the
   course. (Note: Course Descriptions can only be changed once a year.)

2. Relationship to program learning outcomes (VLOs and EES)
   This component lists the contribution(s) that the course makes to the program and the preparation of
   the students for graduation. As such, the list should be (1) reasonable given the course hours, and
   (2) applicable in the sense that the elements in the list can be seen explicitly in the CLRs and the

3. Course Learning Requirements (CLRs)/Embedded Knowledge and Skills (EKS)
    The statements or phrases in this component of the course outline provide a clear picture of the
    performances students complete to gain credit. As such, they begin with active verbs ("understand"
    is not an active verb), and are explicitly related to the VLOs, EES, and the Evaluation.

4. Learning Resources
   The learning resources component provides a list of resources (i.e., textbooks, readings, web sites,
   films, and so on) that are used in ALL sections of a course over an ENTIRE academic year.

5. Learning Activities
   This component provides a list of activities that students may experience when they are enrolled in
   the course. A good list of learning activities is connected to both the CLRs and the Evaluation, and
   presented in a way that includes in-class, hybrid, and online delivery.

6. Evaluation
   This area of the course outline provides important details about ALL sections of a course for an
   ENTIRE academic year: the evidence, the validation and the PLAR information.
       i. EVIDENCE: The evidence lists the individual evaluation components that assess the students'
            ability to complete the performance that is listed in the CLRs. Items that provide evidence
            should outline the nature of the component (i.e., written, oral, group and so on), and remain
            independent of delivery mode (i.e., in-class, hybrid, or online).
       ii. VALIDATION: The validation lists the performance(s) that the evidence assesses. In this
            sense, evidence that contributes more towards the final grade validates a greater number of
            performances, and it is very unlikely that each item of evidence will validate all the
            performances in the course (CLRs and EES).
       iii. PLAR: The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) area describes the process
            to be used for demonstrating achievement of the CLRs through life experience. The
            requirements, then, should be as clear as possible.

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