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Computer Science undergraduate program evaluation and renewal

Transformative Learning | Strategy 12: Program Redesign
Theme: Collaboration
Photo by Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing

UBC’s Department of Computer Science has just completed the first year of a two-year undergraduate program evaluation and renewal.

Computer Science, as a department and as a specialization, is experiencing tremendous growth. By undertaking this program evaluation and renewal, the department had an opportunity to take a step back and figure out how they wanted to deliver course material to students in a fast-changing field.

Through a project funded by the Undergraduate Program Evaluation and Renewal (UPER), Computer Science is taking a look at what is delivered at the undergraduate level and how each course interacts with others, in order to create a more interconnected learning pathway for students.

In a presentation to the UBC Board of Governors in February, 2020, Rachel Pottinger, Associate Professor and Associate Head of the Computer Science Undergraduate Program, laid out the program review process to date.

To see the full presentation to Board, please view the recorded livestream video (jump to minute 46:00), and read the presentation slideshow.

One year into a two-year process, the project is already highlighting some successes. Communication has been enhanced across the instructional streams to better connect course outcomes, as well as better communication with students about learning outcomes and academic expectations. In addition, sessionals and lecturers are able to use these tools to plan their courses to best align with the program learning outcomes.

Key to the success of the review is engaging faculty on the content and outcomes of the programs, but also engaging students to find what they think of their current academic experience, and how they want to engage with he department for improved academic achievements and career planning.

Under Strategy 12: Program Redesign, UBC is committed to moving further towards using learning outcomes as a primary organizing principle of program structure and completion, and reframing undergraduate academic program design in terms of learning outcomes and competencies.