Skills, Competencies and Credentials

Current credential and accreditation system does not serve students well The current university system of credentials, accreditation and transcripts does not serve most undergraduate students well, according to a new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). While the current system does an excellent job documenting students’ knowledge of content, it provides […]


Alan Harrison — Skills, competencies and credentials: The stairway to heaven?

Longer ago than I care to remember, I went to a presentation given by Norm Wagner, who was at the time the president of the Corporate Higher Education Forum, after 10 years as president of the University of Calgary. Wagner talked about what employers look for when they interview students who had successfully completed undergraduate […]

Assessing Learning Outcomes: Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking and Written Communication Skills

Humber College examines the effectiveness of a new skills-assessment tool Students’ critical thinking and written communications skills show the most improvement when they are explicitly taught, according to a new study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) that examines the effectiveness of a new skills-assessment tool developed at Humber College. While the […]

Student Success ePortfolio: Student, Faculty and Employer Perspectives on the Value of ePortfolios in Assessing the Development of Essential Employability Skills

Students, faculty and employers see potential value in ePortfolios By assembling a digital record of a student’s skills and academic accomplishments, ePortfolios have the potential to improve educators’ assessments of students and the ability of students to clearly communicate and connect with employers. But are they effective? A new study from the Higher Education Quality […]


Harvey P. Weingarten — The evolution of learning outcomes: Now comes the exciting part

I have experienced three phases in the evolution of the learning outcomes concept. Learning outcomes refers to what students should know and be able to do as a result of the education they get in their postsecondary programs. The first phase of the learning outcomes concept was already underway when I started at HEQCO in […]

Development of Analytic Rubrics for Competency Assessment

U of T rubrics assess student learning in communication , teamwork and design Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a set of rubrics to assess student learning in communication , teamwork and design , which can be applied to a wide range of courses and assessment types , according to a new report […]

Building Capacity to Measure Essential Employability Skills: A Focus on Critical Thinking

George Brown College building capacity in critical thinking Following on a three-year exploration of critical thinking skills , George Brown College has developed an assessment rubric and handbook to help other institutions explicitly incorporate critical thinking skills into their curriculum and improve the consistency of assessment. The authors of the study , Building Capacity to Measure […]


Harvey P. Weingarten — Measuring Academic Quality: International Perspectives

In my last blog, I argued that the quality of a postsecondary education could be measured by the degree to which it met academic requirements or needs. I also argued that one non-negotiable and essential requirement or need of a postsecondary education is that students receive an education that equips them with the knowledge and […]


Harvey P. Weingarten — What is Academic Quality?

When I started working at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) I asked the obvious question, given the title of the organization: What is quality? I became even more invested in this question when I discovered that the legislation that created HEQCO required us to advise the government on the quality of Ontario’s […]