1. Self Study

The quality assurance process described in the IQAP is intended to foster an environment of continuous quality improvement in all aspects of Nipissing’s programs based on self-assessment and peer evaluation. Within this process, the self study provides an opportunity for an academic unit to assess all the dimensions of academic quality in its programs. Units that have embraced this process have seen noticeable academic benefits from the exercise of defining the goals and learning outcomes of their program and documenting the methods of assessment of those objectives. Aligning the degree learning expectations of the program to those of the faculty and the university strengthens the individual program and the entire core mission of Nipissing University. As indicated in our strategic plan, our mission is to provide “a personalized student experience within a collegial learning community dedicated to creativity, innovation and excellence in teaching, research and scholarly activities.” 

The categories below capture the IQAP requirements for the evaluation of academic programs.

1. Unit Background

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
1. Unit Background
 

The purpose of this section is to provide an introduction to the unit and the program(s) being reviewed, including a listing of all programs being reviewed, e.g., BA Honours, MA, MEd, MSc, PhD, etc. The unit should also use this section to describe any unique features or highlights of the program(s) that will serve to frame the contents of the self study for the reviewers. In addition this section will include an overview of the unit’s programs in terms of their vision, development, and overall objectives.

The unit will provide its vision statement (a few words that summarize the unit’s dreams and aspirations for itself), as well as its mission statement (a few sentences about what the unit actually does to realize its vision). The unit will also demonstrate how its programs are consistent with the institution’s mission and academic plans. It is intended that the unit will make reference to the university’s strategic plan as well as faculty or unit strategic plans, if available.

The unit will also supply information that is relevant to understanding the philosophy and approach that underlies its programs. It will provide a description of the evolution of the programs in order to better understand the nature of the unit in its present form. This section should not include a chronological list of faculty who have joined and left the unit, but a narrative of the significant milestones and developments that have shaped the programs. It should also provide a description of how the objectives of the program were established and evolved to their present form.

This section should give the reviewers a thorough understanding of the unit’s sense of identity, purpose, and intentions.

Finally, this section should describe the process by which the self study was developed, who was responsible and the role of faculty, staff, and students in the development.

Internal Review Committee x

2. Previous Reviews

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
2. Previous Reviews
 

This section will provide a summary of the previous review of the unit’s program(s), including all recommendations and the impact of their implementation on the program(s). A copy of the previous reviewers’ report and the unit’s response will be included in Appendix I.

Internal Review Committee x

3. Degree Level Expectations & Learning Outcomes

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
3. Degree Level Expectations & Learning Outcomes
 

This section will consist of information on the degree level expectations (DLEs) and learning outcomes of the unit programs. Nipissing’s degree level expectations (DLEs), for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs are aligned with those of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents and serve as academic standards that identify the knowledge and skill outcome competencies that graduates are expected to demonstrate. They are core to the mission of the university, and each faculty, program, and course should be able to demonstrate consistency with these expectations. Nipissing DLEs and faculty DLEs (where available) are provided in Table 3.1. Both the overall program and individual courses are assessed against these expectations in terms of learning outcomes. The curricular content, admission requirements, mode of delivery, bases of evaluation of student performance, commitment of resources, and overall quality of any academic program and its courses are all related to its learning outcomes.

The link between DLEs, program level learning outcomes, and course level learning outcomes is established through the development of a curriculum map. A curriculum map will be included as Table 3.3 in the self study.

Under the following headings, the unit will provide a description of the program’s learning outcomes and their consistency with the university’s and the faculty’s mission and degree level expectations. This will include an explanation of the ways in which the unit assesses the extent to which its graduates have achieved those outcomes. In addition, the unit will provide analysis and comments under each sub-heading, which reflect National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) or Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS) results data, as appropriate, and any other relevant data supplied by the unit.

Internal Review Committee x

3.1. Program Learning Outcomes

The unit will demonstrate the consistency of program learning outcomes with university and faculty DLEs by completing Table 3.1. To assist with this process, a curriculum mapping tool is available to demonstrate how course content and skills align to program learning outcomes.

Internal Review Committee x

3.2. Course Learning Outcomes

The unit will document course level learning outcomes by completing a copy of Table 3.1 for each course, with the completed tables included in Appendix A. The unit will demonstrate how the course learning outcomes support the program’s learning outcomes. These will be summarized to the program level and the program learning outcomes will be reported in Table 3.2.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

​3.3. Assessment of Learning and Improvement of the Program

With reference to Table 3.1 and Table 3.2, the unit will indicate how the program’s learning outcomes are assessed and how the assessment methods address achievement of the program learning outcomes and DLEs. The unit will provide an analysis and description of plans to address duplication, gaps, and areas for course and program improvement.

A program-level curriculum map will be included as Table 3.3.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

​3.4. Additional Learning Outcomes Support

Where applicable, in this section, the unit will discuss the NSSE senior year results and/or CGPSS results, as they relate to addressing achievement and assessment of the program learning outcomes.

​Internal Review Committee x

​3.4.1. National Survey of Student Engagement Results

The IPO will provide the data if available. The unit will provide analysis and comment. NSSE results for the unit should be included in Appendix G (if available).

​Internal Review Committee / Institutional Planning & Research Office NSSE 2017

3.4.2. Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey Results

The IPO will provide the data if available. The unit will provide analysis and comment. CGPSS results for the unit should be included in Appendix G (if available).

​Internal Review Committee / Institutional Planning & Research Office ​x

3.5. Other Relevant Data

The unit will insert any other data that is relevant, with analysis and comment.

The unit will provide, as Appendix B to the self study, detailed course outlines for all courses offered as part of each program in the unit over the review period, along with a copy of each course assessment and evaluation instruments used in the program.

Internal Review Committee ​x

4. Program Structure, Curriculum and Delivery Modes

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
​4. Program Structure, Curriculum and Delivery Modes

This section will include an outline of the program under the following headings:

4.1. Program Goals

The unit will provide an overarching statement of the unit’s intent for the program(s) it delivers.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

​4.2. Program Options

The unit will provide data that presents the various program options available for degree completion along with analysis and comment under the following headings:
 

4.2.1. Undergraduate
The unit will provide information on majors, streams, minors, etc. as applicable.

4.2.2. Graduate
The unit will provide information on approved fields.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

4.3. Program Structure

Include information outlined in the current academic calendar. From this information, the unit will include that structure of the program(s) being reviewed, providing analysis and comment on the program structure.

The information provided should, be in the following format:

Honours Program
Year 1 – ENSC 1005, BIOL 1011, CHEM 1901, MATH 1036 and 1037, three Humanities or Social Sciences credits
Year 2 – …
Year 3 – …
Year 4 – …

​Office of the Registrar / Internal Review Committee ​x

4.4. Program Curriculum

​4.4.1. Calendar Outline

The Office of the Registrar will provide Table 4.4.1 which lists the complete calendar entry (course code, course title, contact hour, instructional methods and course description) for each course in the program.

Office of the Registrar Table 4.4.1

4.4.2. Current State of the Discipline

The unit will explain how the program curriculum reflects the current state of the discipline or area of study. The unit will also describe any significant innovation or creativity in the content and/or delivery of the program.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

4.4.3. Collaboration Arrangements

The unit will identify collaborative arrangements within and external to Nipissing University, such as co-ops, practica, internships, international exchanges, study abroad, community outreach and involvement, and partnerships.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

​4.5. Course Offerings

The IPRO will provide data. The unit will comment on the frequency with which courses have been offered over the past eight years, under the following headings:

4.5.1. Courses Offered by Unit

​Institutional Planning & Research Office Table 4.5.1

4.5.2. Additional Required Courses Offered by Other Units​

​Office of the Registrar ​x

​4.6. Modes of Delivery

The unit will identify modes of delivery and offer analysis and comment.

4.6.1. Degree of Interactivity

The unit will describe how course activities support interactive learning and promote student engagement. Interactive learning may include approaches such as seminar and lab activities, experiential learning, service-learning, inquiry-based learning, paired and small-group learning, team-based activities, group work, peer assessment and instant feedback.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

4.6.2. Class Size

The unit will describe any modifications or accommodations made to support learning outcomes relative to class size.

Internal Review Committee​

​4.6.3. Appropriateness and Effectiveness

The unit will describe the appropriateness and effectiveness of the modes of delivery and how they support the achievement of learning outcomes in the program.

​Internal Review Committee x​

5. Faculty and Staffing Resources

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
5. Faculty and Staffing Resources

This section will provide an account of faculty and staffing resources in place since the last review. The unit will provide analysis and comment with regards to the impact of the quantity and quality of faculty and staffing resources on the delivery of the program. Only those tables which are applicable to the unit should be completed. The unit will supply information under the following headings:

5.1. Full and Part-Time Faculty

In completing Tables 5.1.1, 5.1.2, and 5.1.3, faculty are listed as being either core or participating. Core faculty are defined as those faculty members who are expected to be involved in thesis supervision. Participating faculty are defined as those faculty who may be involved in a graduate program through teaching courses and/or serving on thesis committees.

 

​5.1.1. Instructor Qualifications and Teaching Assignments

Table 5.1.1 ​x

​5.1.2. Contributions by Instructors to Other Units

Table 5.1.2 ​x

​5.1.3. Intellectual Contributions

Table 5.1.3 ​x

​5.2. Faculty Directly Involved with the Program from Other Units

​Table 5.2 ​x

​5.3. Permanent Staff with Teaching Responsibilities Associated with the Program

​Table 5.3 ​x

​5.4. All Other Administrative Support Staff Directly Associated with the Unit

Table 5.4 ​x

​5.5. Research Grants and Contracts

​5.5.1. External Research Grants and Contracts

​Table 5.5.1 ​x

​5.5.2. Internal Research Grants and Contracts

​Table 5.5.2 ​x

​5.6. Faculty Awards and Distinctions

The unit will also provide evidence of faculty quality and prominence in the form of honours, awards and recognition.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

​5.7. Financial Support for Graduate Students

The Dean of Graduate Studies & Research will provide data and the unit will provide analysis and comment.

​Dean of Graduate Studies & Research ​x
Include an Appendix D to the self study with the curriculum vitae of each faculty member/instructor listed in the tables in this section. The CV format should be consistent with recognized academic and disciplinary models.

6. Budget, Space and Other Resources

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
​6. Budget, Space and Other Resources

This section will include an analysis of the unit’s operating budget, along with an evaluation of other resources available to the program under the following headings:

6.1. Operating Budget

The IPRO will provide a copy of the operating budget, including part-time costs, for the current, plus past four years. Include this document as Table 6.1. The unit will provide analysis and comment on how the operating budget affects the academic program.

​Institutional Planning & Research Office Table 6.1

6.2. Space and Equipment

The unit will provide an account of the space and equipment used by the program, along with analysis and comment. This will include a description of present resources as well as anticipated upgrades, renovations or additions in the future.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

6.3. Other Academic Resources

The unit will provide a description and evaluation of other related resources that directly contribute to the academic quality of the program under review, along with analysis and comment. Examples of these resources might include: academic advising, student services, technical services, experiential learning, and service learning.

​​Internal Review Committee ​x

7. Technological Resources and Support

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
7. Technological Resources and Support

This section will include an analysis of the unit’s technological resources and support.

University Technology Services will provide a report if there are particular IT resources which are utilized by the unit. Examples of these resources might include: Blackboard, Turnitin, Elluminate, and social media. The unit will provide analysis and comment if such a report is available.

​University Technology Services ​x

8. Library Resources

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
8. Library Resources

This section will include an analysis of the unit’s library resources.
The library will provide a report on the library resources available to the unit. The unit will provide analysis and comment.

​Library Services ​x

9. Admissions

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample

​9. Admissions

 

This section will include an assessment of admissions requirements under the three headings outlined below:

GLOBAL DATA

​9.1. Admission Requirements and Qualifications of Incoming Students

 

The unit will provide data along with analysis and comment.

​Internal Review Committee

​x

​9.2. Admission Targets and Numbers of Students Registered

 

The IPRO will provide data by program and the unit will offer analysis and comment under the following sub-headings:

​9.2.1. Admission Targets and Registrations (Previous Eight Years)

 

Include as Table 9.2.1, the IPRO supplied chart: Admissions Targets and Registrations

​Institutional Planning & Research Office ​x

9.2.2. Distribution of Admission Averages

Include as Table 9.2.2, the IPRO supplied chart: Admissions Averages

​Institutional Planning & Research Office x​

​9.3. Admission Patterns

This section will include information on admission patterns under the following sub-headings:

9.3.1. Undergraduate Applications: 101s vs 105s (Previous Eight Years)

The IPRO will provide data and the unit will offer analysis and comment. Include as Table 9.3.1, the IPRO supplied chart: 101s vs 105s.

​Institutional Planning & Research Office ​x

9.3.2. Graduate Admissions

The unit will provide commentary on admission patterns evident in data found in section 9.2.

​Internal Review Committee x​

​9.3.3. Other Relevant Information

The unit will provide additional information on transfer students, and/or other categories relevant to the program, with analysis and comment.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

10. Enrollments

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
​10. Enrollments

This section will include an assessment of the past, present, and projected future enrollment in the program. The IPRO will provide data, and the unit will provide analysis and comment under the following headings:

GLOBAL DATA​

​10.1. Program Enrollment by Headcount (Previous Eight Years)

Include as Table 10.1, the IPRO supplied chart: Headcount Enrollment

Institutional Planning & Research Office​ Table 10.1

​10.2. Full-Time Equivalent Enrollment by Session (Previous Eight Years)

Include as Table 10.2, the IPRO supplied chart: FTE Students

​Institutional Planning & Research Office Table 10.2

10.3. Enrollment Projections

In collaboration with the IPRO, the unit will provide data on the past eight years plus a four-year projection of enrolments. Include as Table 10.3, the IPRO supplied chart: Enrollment Projections

​Institutional Planning & Research Office / Internal Review Committee Table 10.3​

11. Retention, Graduation and Times to Completion

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
11. Retention, Graduation and Times to Completion

This section will include an assessment of retention, graduation rates and times to completion.

​11.1. Retention and Graduation Rates (Previous Eight Years)

The IPRO will provide data, and the unit will provide analysis and comment.

Include as Table 11.1.1, the IPRO supplied chart: Flow Through which tracks the number of degrees conferred and the completion rate for each cohort over the 8-year span.

Include as Table 11.1.2, the IPRO supplied chart: Retention/Degree Completion which tracks retention and attrition rates for each cohort over the 8-year span.

Institutional Planning & Research Office Table 11.1.2

​11.2. Times to Completion (Previous Eight Years)

The IPRO will provide data on flow through and times to completion for the program. The unit will provide analysis and comment. Include as Table 11.2 the IPRO supplied chart: Time to Completion.

​Institutional Planning & Research Office x​

​11.3. Funding Eligibility (Graduate Programs Only)

The IPRO will provide data, and the unit will provide analysis and comment. Include as Table 11.3 the IPRO supplied chart: Funding Eligibility

​Institutional Planning & Research Office x​

12. Student Success

Component Responsible Unit/Template Sample
12. Student Success

This section will include indicators of student quality under the following headings:

12.1. Scholarly Success

The unit will provide data on scholarly output, success rates in provincial and national scholarships, competitions, awards and commitment to professional and transferable skills

​Internal Review Committee ​x

12.2. Pathways to Success After Graduation

The IPRO and the unit will provide data under the following headings:

​12.2.1. Ontario University Graduate Survey Results

The IPRO will provide the most recent results of the MAESD Ontario University Graduate Survey (OUGS).  The unit will provide analysis and comment on graduate employment six months and also two years after graduation, postgraduate study, “skills match” and alumni reports on program quality when available.  The OUGS results for the unit should be included in Appendix H.

​Institutional Planning & Research Office x​

12.2.2. Graduate Programs Outcomes Survey Results​

The IPRO will provide the most recent results of the MAESD Graduate Programs Outcomes Survey (GPOS).  The unit will provide analysis and comment on postgraduate study as well as employment.  The GPOS results for the unit should be included in Appendix H.
 

​Institutional Planning & Research Office x​

13. Surveys

Component Supporting Unit/Template Sample
13. Surveys

This section will include an assessment of the results of representative surveys conducted by the IPRO. These surveys poll perceptions of current majors and recent graduates on the program's effectiveness. Where appropriate, the unit will provide analysis and comment on the results of surveys/consultations with representatives of industry, professions, or practical training programs.

​13.1. Results of Survey of Current Students

The IPRO will provide a copy of the results, which will be included in Appendix F. The unit will provide a summary of the survey and offer analysis and comment of the results.

​Institutional Planning & Research Office ​x

​13.2. Results of Survey of Recent Alumni

The IPRO will provide a copy of the results, which will be included in Appendix G. The unit will provide a summary and offer analysis and comment of the results.

​Institutional Planning & Research Office x​

​13.3. Results of Other Surveys

The unit will provide a copy of the results of any other surveys relevant to the review (e.g., Canadian University Survey Consortium), which were undertaken by the unit, along with analysis and comment.

​Institutional Planning & Research Office x​

14. Potential for Growth and Improvement

Component Supporting Unit/Template Sample
14. Potential for Growth and Improvement

In this section, the unit will provide critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the program, drawing upon the body of evidence presented in the self study. The self study is not intended to be merely a catalogue of facts. The application of thoughtful analysis is key to the success of the document and the academic review process itself. The unit is encouraged to assess which aspects of the program are effective in promoting its vision, objectives and learning outcomes and which aspects inhibit those goals. This section should explain what the unit has learned and what conclusions have been reached.

Internal Review Committee x

15. Academic Program Plan

Component Supporting Unit/Template Sample
15. Academic Program Plan

In this section, the unit will provide a projection based on the analysis in Section 14 of where the program expects to be in three to five years. The unit should set priorities and outline specific details and strategies for implementing this plan. If a unit strategic plan exists, the unit should incorporate elements into the academic program plan.

​Internal Review Committee ​x

Related Resources

File Sample

Self Study Manual

PDF

x
Self Study Template DOC x
​Self Study Checklist PDF
​Table 3.1: Mapping University and Faculty Specific Outcomes to Degree Level Expectations
Bachelor's Degree | Bachelor's Degree (Honours) | Master's Degree | Doctoral Degree
Table 3.2: Mapping Program Outcomes to Learning Activities and Methods of Assessment
Bachelor's Degree​ | Bachelor's Degree (Honours) | Master's Degree | Doctoral Degree
Table 3.3: Curriculum Map
Bachelor's Degree | Bachelor's Degree (Honours) | Master's Degree | Doctoral Degree
​Table 5.1.1: Instructor Qualifications and Teaching Assignments Within the Unit DOC ​x
​Table 5.1.2: Instructor Contributions to Other Units DOC ​x
​Table 5.1.3: Intellectual Contributions DOC ​x
​Table 5.2: Contributions by Instructors from Other Units DOC ​x
​Table 5.3: Permanent Staff with Teaching Responsibilities Associated with the Unit DOC ​x
​Table 5.4: All Other Administrative Staff Directly Associated with the Unit DOC ​x
​Table 5.5.1: Research Grants and Contracts – External DOC ​x
​Table 5.5.2: Research Grants and Contracts – Internal DOC x​
​Appendix A Template DOC x​