Many faculty members have received notice that our Learning Plans are soon due. Check communications from your School or Faculty for details.

If you are not familiar with Course Outlines and Learning Plans and the difference between them, it can be useful to think of the Course Outline as a contract between the College and the student. The Course Outline tells this student what they can expect to achieve through the successful completion of the course. Typically, the focus of the Course Outline is the Course Learning Objectives (CLOs).

The Learning Plan is how the professor interprets the Course Outline. The professor looks at the CLOs and determines the topics, learning activities, readings/resources, and assessments. While academic freedom is not completely defined in the Collective Agreement, when faculty members and Local 417 refer to academic freedom, this is part of what they are talking about–the academic freedom to determine topics, learning activities, supplemental materials, and assessments.

Some faculty have been given new Course Outlines for their courses. The new format is much more comprehensive than the Course Outlines most of us are familiar with and includes details that we expect to see in Learning Plans. The new Course Outlines have modules with topics, learning experiences, and supplemental resources. Some even have assessment details.

Issues of academic freedom and the new outlines were brought forward by Local 417 at a Union-College Committee meeting, and the response from management was that topics, learning experiences, supplemental materials, and assessments in the new Course Outlines should be considered suggestions only and that faculty still had academic freedom in determining the content of the Learning Plans.

Read more about the Union-College Committee here:

Don’t forget, an informal drop-in meeting with Local 417 stewards is happening this Wednesday. Details here.