Important processes

2.7 Curriculum

It is the responsibility of the Chair to supervise the process for quality assurance of the unit’s programs, ensuring either the preparation of the self-study, the implementation plan or the follow-up reports.

The evaluation process applies to all programs at the University of Ottawa that lead to a degree or a diploma, whether they require prior university studies or not. The process is governed by the University of Ottawa Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP).

Programs are evaluated in turn every eight years, according to a pre-determined schedule and managed by the Office of Quality Assurance (OQA). The main purpose of the office is to ensure, through the Senate Committees on the Undergraduate and Graduate programs’ duties, the integrity of the evaluation process. In consultation with the Faculty, the schedule takes into account combined reviews for undergraduate and graduate programs and reviews conducted for professional accreditation. In the latter cases, proper modalities are set ensuring the requirements of the cyclical review process are met.

2.7.1 Self-evaluation of a Program and its Completion by the Academic Unit

The self-evaluation critically analyzes all aspects of a program, specifically, the curriculum, the profile of the student population and their progress in the program - from the conditions of admission to graduation - as well as faculty, administrative, material and financial resources available. It requires the involvement of all professors in the academic unit, as well as a representative number of both support staff and students in the program. It is an in-depth, evidence-based reflection on quality indicators and meaningful data, with an eye to the future, i.e., forward looking.

The resulting self-study brief is an informative, descriptive, analytical and critical document that must provide an accurate portrait of the strengths and weaknesses of the program. Central to the cyclical review of programs, the self-evaluation should encourage and facilitate reflection that allows for continuous improvement of the program. The cyclical review contributes to the efforts of an academic unit or a faculty to offer a quality program at the leading edge of advances in the discipline and is a means to ensure the quality of the program. It follows that the self-evaluation report should not be the result of an individual authorship.

2.7.2 Resources for Preparing the Self-evaluation Report

The present template - serving both the undergraduate and the graduate level - is designed to assist academic units in preparing the self-evaluation report. It includes information on all the elements necessary for conducting an evaluation, along with guidelines for writing the report. Each of the sections of the template presents a series of questions or statements indicating the information being sought. It is expected that the collected responses provided present a concise narrative report, drawing on an in-depth analysis of data using a synthesis approach. The very structure of the template allows either for a stand-alone review of a graduate or an undergraduate program, or for an articulated review of both.

The Office of Quality Assurance (OQA) and the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) work in close collaboration in order to provide the academic units the proper resources in support for the preparation of the self-study report. The OQA provides the expertise to help with the curriculum analysis, the identification and the evaluation of the learning outcomes. The TLSS offers expertise and resources for evaluating teaching strategies, tailored to the programs under review - visit the TLSS site for information on their various services and expertise. Consultation with the TLSS can prove beneficial for the development of any action plan related to pedagogical strategies or approaches in the specific context of the cyclical review of a program.

The OQA, together with TLSS and Institutional Research and Planning, hold workshops each year to help teams of the academic units responsible for writing the self-study report prepare for the review. The Office of Quality Assurance also holds writing retreat sessions to provide concrete support for the writing of the report, and to foster discussion about the process.

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