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Assurance of Learning (AOL) is a continuous improvement methodology to ensure quality in our academic programs. Simply put, AOL strives to answer the following questions:

  1. What do we want our graduates to learn in the program (goals and objectives)?
  2. How are we going to measure that our students have achieved them (measures)?
  3. What improvement(s) to the academic program will we implement based on the results of those measures (improvements)?

FAQs for faculty and instructors 

Program Learning Goals and Objectives

The learning goals and objectives for all academic programs offered by the Sprott School of Business are written through an engaging process with the Curriculum Review Committees (CRC), Teaching Area Groups (TAG), and the Assurance of Learning (AOL) Committee. All learning goals and objectives for each program are approved at Faculty Board.

AOL Measures

For each learning objective in each academic program, the associated Curriculum Review Committee (CRC), in conjunction with teaching areas, identifies one course within the program that is the optimal place to measure a student’s proficiency in the competency that makes up the learning objective. This is not to say that the student develops that competency only in that course but that it is the best place to measure it.

A Curriculum Map is developed by the CRC that identifies courses to measure all learning objectives in a program.

This Curriculum Map allows the Assurance of Learning (AOL) Committee to design plans to measure each learning objective. Each learning objective is not measured each year but must be measured two times in a five-year period and three times in a ten-year period.  

The AOL Committee contacts the instructor of a course when it is flagged to be measured. It is the responsibility of the instructor to identify what measure/artifact from the course can be used to independently assess the learning objective. This is a measure of the program-level goals and objectives only.  

Measures/artifacts can include:

  • Assignments
  • Major projects
  • Exam questions
  • Presentations

These artifacts are collected for all students by the AOL Administrator, copied, and returned to the instructor of the course.

Please note that the artifact submitted must not represent group work as AOL is a measure of a sample of individual students. Artifacts for all students must be submitted and the AOL Administrator randomly selects a representative sample for AOL assessment.  

AOL Assessment

After the measures/artifacts are collected from a course section assigned to an AOL learning objective, an anonymized sample is given to an independent AOL assessor. This assessor uses a rubric designed by the AOL Committee to assess the proficiency of each student in the specific learning objective. The artifacts submitted to AOL do not need to be graded on the AOL rubric.

This is done on a 5-point scale:

  1. Not Proficient – No evidence of the student being proficient in the competencies described in the learning objective.
  2. Limited Proficiency – Some evidence of the student being proficient in some of the competencies described in the learning objective.
  3. Proficient – Adequate evidence of the student being proficient in most of the competencies described in the learning objective.
  4. Strong Proficiency – Strong evidence of the student being proficient in most of the competencies described in the learning objective.
  5. Mastery – Compelling evidence of the student mastering all of the competencies described in the learning objective.

AOL assessments are collected for each course section and are used to develop reports to the appropriate Curriculum Review Committee for their review. Results presented in these reports can signal continuous improvement of the program or further refinement of the learning objective, course assigned, or measures/artifacts used. The Curriculum Review Committee must formally respond to the data on each learning objective in each yearly report.

For further information, please contact Scott Gonsalves, Accreditation Manager.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is AOL?

Assurance of Learning (AOL) is a continuous improvement methodology to ensure quality in our academic programs.  Simply put, AOL strives to answer the following questions:

  1. What do we want our graduates to learn in the program (goals and objectives)?
  2. How are we going to measure that our students have achieved them (measures)?
  3. What improvement(s) to the academic program will we implement based on the results of those measures (improvements)?

Who created these learning goals and objectives?

The learning goals and objectives for all academic programs offered by the Sprott School of Business were written through an engaging process with the Curriculum Review Committees (CRC), Teaching Area Groups (TAG), and the Assurance of Learning (AOL) Committee.  All learning goals and objectives for each program are approved at Faculty Board.

Why is my course flagged for measurement?

For each learning objective in each academic program, the associated Curriculum Review Committee (CRC), in conjunction with teaching areas, identifies one course within the program that is the optimal place to measure a student’s proficiency in the competency that makes up the learning objective.  This is not to say that the student develops that competency only in that course however, it simply is the best place to measure that competency.

Is this a measure of my course or my teaching?

No. This is a measure of the program-level goals and objectives only.

Do I need to have specific AOL deliverables in my course?

No. What we are asking you to do is to find artifacts (e.g. assignment, exam question) that can be used to measure the learning objective assigned to your course.

What about group assignments?

AOL is a measure of a sample of individual students and their proficiency in a given learning objective.  As such, we would need to assess the deliverables of individual students and not their contribution to group assignments.

Who does the AOL assessment?

The AOL assessment is typically done through assessors other than the instructor of the course, using a specific rubric to measure the learning objective.

Does my grading need to align with the AOL rubric?

In short, it can but it doesn’t have to.  You may grade the assignment that you submit to AOL completely differently for the purposes of your course.

Where can I go for assistance or further information?

Contact Scott Gonsalves, Accreditation Manager.