Special Call

Special Call: Undergraduate Program Evaluation and Renewal

As part of the 2019 TLEF round, UBC-V is launching a special strategic call for proposals to academic units for Undergraduate Program Evaluation and Renewal projects. With support from Provost’s office and Strategic Plan Implementation funding, $1,000,000 will be earmarked for program renewal at UBC-V, with four to six projects funded for up to three years. In particular, and in alignment with UBC’s Strategic Plan (Strategy 12: Program Redesign), we encourage departments who are interested in reframing undergraduate academic program design in terms of learning outcomes and competencies to apply for funding and central support resources through this call.

Focus on Learning Outcomes/Competencies

Proposals will be submitted by interested Department Heads for program renewal structured around program level learning outcomes and/or competencies.

Program level learning outcomes are statements regarding what students should know or be able to do as a result of a program of study. These are generally unique or specific to a program of study (i.e. the learning outcomes for sociology would be different than the learning outcomes for anthropology).

Competencies have multiple meanings in higher education, depending on the discipline or context. In this call, we define competencies as the abilities or attributes that students need to perform well both within and beyond academia. Competencies are applicable across a range of programs and include things like critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. Program level learning outcomes may address discipline-specific interpretations of competencies.

Financial and In-kind Support for Departments

Support will be provided for units interested in developing and agreeing upon program level learning outcomes or competencies, evaluating whether their program provides the right balance of opportunities for students to achieve these outcomes or competencies, determining where changes can be made to improve this, and defining an evaluation plan to assess these changes.

Up to three Faculty course releases are possible per year, with the cost of such releases split between the Faculty and Central. Funding will also be available to departments to support project coordination and community engagement events. CTLT will provide support for Curriculum Planning, Learning Design and Evaluation to all of the projects that are funded.

The generation of/agreement upon program level outcomes, to the point where there is a commitment to action and change, is a significant undertaking that can easily take multiple years. For this reason, the actual implementation of proposed changes to courses and curriculum is out of scope for this funding. This work could be accomplished either by applying for TLEF funds, or be funded from within the Faculty/department.

Department Heads will be critical champions of the work, and will be asked to submit proposals for support starting at any stage of the program evaluation and renewal process, with an emphasis for departments at the start of these conversations. It is also expected that students will be meaningfully involved in the planning, development, and implementation of these projects.

Financial support may include:

  • Course releases for faculty playing substantial roles in the project (up to three per year)
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Engagement with students and other key constituents
  • Department retreats (to encourage broad participation and engagement from faculty)
  • Development of materials to communicate learning outcomes or competencies to students and other key constituents

In-kind support will be provided by CTLT, including:

  • Process facilitation (determining program learning outcomes or competencies)
  • Curriculum mapping and analysis
  • Course and program redesign
  • Program assessment planning and implementation (student achievement of program level learning outcomes or competencies)
  • As necessary, assistance with UBC curriculum change process and documentation (e.g. Senate proposals)

We expect that projects funded through this call will typically span two to three years. As well as support for individual projects, there will be a cohort element, whereby from time to time all project teams are brought together for peer support, sharing, and feedback.

Application Process

Applications for Undergraduate Program Evaluation and Renewal projects will go through a two-stage approval process aligned with the Large TLEF Transformation project deadlines. An initial Letter of Intent (LOI) will be submitted by the Department Head by 3:00 pm on July 12, 2018, indicating the department’s interest to develop a multi-year proposal for the renewal of an academic program or area of specialization, with a focus on learning outcomes and competencies. Following the review of the LOI by the TLEF Committee, successful applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal that includes a detailed plan for the development of a multi-year project to evaluate a program, develop a plan for program renewal, and to conduct evaluation. The full proposal is due 3:00 pm on October 11, 2018. The Proposals will be reviewed by the TLEF Adjudication Committee, which will make recommendations to the Provost for funding. Applicants will receive notification of funding decisions in December 2018.

For more information about this special funding call, please contact tlef.info@ubc.ca.