Logo with speech bubbles - Student Voices in Quality Assurance Symposium

November 14 & 15, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Things to do in Toronto

Students in classroom



Thursday, November 14, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.




Land Acknowledgement

Regina Hartwick, Acting Director, Indigenous Education, Humber College

Opening Remarks

Chris Whitaker, President and CEO, Humber College
Craig Stephenson, President and CEO, Centennial College

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Keynote Address: Global Perspectives in Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Are We Listening to the Students?

Francisco Marmolejo, Lead Tertiary Education Specialist, The World Bank

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

1A: Take your Partners: the Scottish Approach to Quality (virtual)

Presented by:

  • Simon Varwell, Senior Development Consultant, Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland, sparqs

Student engagement is a defining pillar of Scotland's approach to quality in its universities and colleges, and has been since the start of the century. For student input to be effective, Scottish practice suggests that when they are treated as partners and co-creators, students can bring new ideas and perspectives to enrich learning, but this presents questions for the capacities and competences of staff, students, student representative organisations and institutions as a whole.

1B:  Maple League of Universities:  Building Partnerships for Extraordinary Student Experiences

Presented by:

  • Dr. Jessica Ridell, Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, Executive Director, The Maple League of Universities, Full Professor, Department of English, Bishop's University 3M National Teaching Fellow (2015)
  • Rebecca Mesay, Maple League Student Fellow, Federal Affairs & Engagement Former Student Union President, Fourth year student in Political Studies, St. Francis Xavier University
  • Lauren Boultbee, Maple League Student Fellow, Advancement, Third year student in Business and Communications, Bishop's University

The Maple League is an organization with scope and complexity, and navigates diverse sectors at a high level as well as through grassroots conversations in order to align multiple institutional cultures and governance structures that make each institution unique. Balancing transparency and accountability while navigating sometimes fraught conceptual terrains and politically sensitive landscapes is an ongoing challenge. The Maple League is committed to designing and deploying metrics to measure impact and QA.

1C: Student-Faculty Partnerships in Curriculum Development: Lessons Learned

Presented by:

  • Erin Cameron, Curriculum Development Specialist, Mohawk College
  • Dawn Danko, Curriciulum Development Specialist, Mohawk College

Co-creating learning and teaching is not straightforward, but valuable for learners and faculty. Join presenters to learn about the joys, successes, challenges, and lessons learned through a student-faculty partnership that includes outdoor play pedagogy within an ECE diploma program. As a result of this research project, recommendations for student-faculty partnerships in academic quality have been developed and will be shared.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Plenary: Indigenous Quality Assurance through Indigenous Voice

Presented by:

  • Dr. Lana Ray, Assistant Professor, Lakehead University
  • Mary Wabano, Associate Dean of Indigenous Studies & Director of the First Peoples' Centre, Canadore College
  • Deidre Bannerman, Academic Director of Quality Learning, Teaching & Innovation, Canadore College

This presentation showcases the Indigenous Quality Assurance (IQA) system that was developed by the six northern Ontario colleges over a 3-year span. It also discusses IQA as a strategy to support the implementation of best practices in decolonizing education and will demonstrate how IQA supports enhanced involvement of Indigenous students and the broader Indigenous community in defining and evaluating the quality of Indigenous education.

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

2A: QA and students — Not just committees!

Presented by:

  • Sarah Cahill, Manager, Graduate Programs for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and Phd Candidate in Sociology, University of Guelph
  • Dr. John Dawson, Director, College of Biological Science Office of Educational Scholarship and Practice, and Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph
  • Dr. Sofie Lachapelle, Chair, Department of History, University of Guelph and Appraisal Committee Member, Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance
  • Patricia Tersigni, Director, Academic Programs and Policy, University of Guelph
  • Nadia Timperio, Manager, Graduate Curriculum, University of Guelph
  • Paisley Worthington, Curriculum Development and Review Specialist, Centre for Academic Excellence, Laurentian University
  • Alyssa Voigt, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Office of Quality Assurance, University of Waterloo

Join this panel discussion to engage with colleagues on how we successfully integrate student employment, summer research opportunities and experiential learning course work into our QA activities at the faculty and institutional level. Learn how this can make a deep impact on our work and moreover how four of these students have transitioned into full-time employment with academic quality assurance and curriculum offices at the University of Waterloo, University of Guelph and Laurentien University.  ​

2B: Current and Promising Practices of Student Involvement: A Survey of Ontario Colleges and Universities

Presented by:

  • Sally Heath, Manager of Academic Program Development and Review, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Jovan Groen, Senior Research and Evaluation Analyst, University of Ottawa
  • Paola Borin, Curriculum Development Consultant, Ryerson University

This multi-institutional research project focuses on how students are being engaged in quality assurance processes across Ontario, highlighting innovative and distinctive institutional practices. This presentation will use an analysis of a survey and interview data to summarize current approaches and propose opportunities for strengthening institutional commitments to engaging students as partners and actors in efforts toward continuous program improvement.

2C: Beyond the Designed and Delivered: Authentic Integration of the Experienced Curriculum in Review Processes (and how to pay for it)

Presented by:

  • Erin Aspenlieder, Associate Director - Program and Educational Development, McMaster University
  • Amy Gullage, Educational Developer - Program Enhancement Lead, McMaster University
  • Greg Van Gastel, Educational Developer, McMaster University
  • Julanne Simpson, Quality Assurance Specialist, McMaster University

Staff-student partnerships are a well-established means of meaningfully engaging students in teaching and learning work. At McMaster University, students may be employed as curriculum consultants'within the Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP) in order to share their expertise and the experienced curriculum as part of the continuous program enhancement process. In this session, the presenters will describe the Student Partners Program, explore benefits and challenges, and consider case studies.

2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

3A: ESU Student Expert Pool: Organization, Practices and Future Perspectives of Student Involvement in QA

Presented by:

  • Liv Teresa Muth, PhD student and member of the Steering Committee of the ESU QA Student Expert Pool 

Student participation and involvement is one essential pillar of Quality Assurance (QA) in Higher Education. In order to display an example of how to involve students in QA processes, the presenters will provide an overview of the QA Student Expert Pool of the European Student Union which facilitates active student involvement in external quality assurance through peer reviews. Furthermore, the presenters will elaborate on practices and implementation of QA processes within Europe and it resulting challenges.

3B: The C3 Project: A Blueprint for Engaging Students (and Faculty) in Quality Assurance

Presented by: 

  • Gintaras Duda, Professor and Chair, Department of Physics, Creighton University
  • Mary Ann Danielson, Professor, Creighton University

Building on the work of Bovill, Cook-Sather, & Felten (2011) the C3 project at Creighton University engaged faculty and students in collaborative course re-construction and design.  After two iterations of the project (2013-2014 and 2014-2015), Duda and Danielson (2018) conducted a longitudinal study to determine the impact of this project for several dimensions:  gains in student learning, direct impact on students as learners, faculty development, and curricular and cultural change.  This presentation describes continuing work in this area: a new cohort of faculty-student partners as well as informal use of this faculty development method that has emerged at the grassroots level across the university.  This latest work pays particular attention to student development and the navigation of power dynamics within student/faculty partnerships.

3C: From Participants to Colleagues: Students as Champions of Academic Quality

Presented by:

  • Maggie Cusson, Dean of Academic Development, Algonquin College
  • Deijanelle Simon, President and student, Algonquin College Students' Association

Algonquin College’s Students’ Association (SA) is an active and thriving organization that works inclusively with the senior leadership to support academic quality. This includes regular meetings between senior leadership and the SA, the inclusion of SA members on academic committees, and initiatives that give voice to student perspectives in academic programs. Most recently, the relationship has been strengthened through dedicated efforts between the SA and Academic Development.

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Coffee Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.




Concurrent Sessions 

4A: How to Get Student Participation Working: A Case Study from the Netherlands

Presented by:

  • Christiane Holz, Program Manager, Informatics Lecturer Fontys University of Applied Sciences

Student participation in quality assurance has become more and more important in Higher Education during the last few years. Many institutions, schools and study programs seek ways to implement student participation but there are no guidelines for how to successfully do it. Using a case study, this presentation will show how student participation can successfully be set up at different organizational levels while pointing out benefits and success factors.

4B: Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks for Student Engagement in QA in the Canadian Context

Presented by:

  • Kate Peters, Portfolio Initiatives Manager Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), University of Alberta

The conceptual framework used in a small qualitative study on student engagement in Ontario will be presented. The framework addresses power and depth of engagement while illustrating power imbalances between students and the institution. Possible tools to minimize power imbalance will be discussed in the light of the theory from student engagement literature. Participants will provide their input on the linkage between student engagement and quality enhancement of the student experience.

4C: Curriculum-Mapping Tools: A Challenge to Student Engagement

Presented by:

  • Dr. Susan Joudrey, Senior Educational Developer, Curriculum, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. William Kay, Manager of Program Review, Saint Mary's University

Student engagement is an aspect of curriculum creation and mapping that virtual curriculum-mapping tools do not explicitly address. How do these tools create barriers to student engagement? This presentation examines a number of mapping methods and describes the limitations to engaging student voice created by relying on virtual tools. It suggests ways to overcome challenges presented by curriculum-mapping tools and reflects on potential opportunities to engaging students in the mapping process.

4D: International: Visa Student Voices in QA Processes

Presented by:

  • Kristi Harrison, Owner and Principal, Kristi Harrison and Associates

International visa students have become a significant demographic in the Ontario College system. How can institutions include their voices in quality assurance processes and reflect an accurate picture of the contributions and challenges associated with their participation? What do they experience in learning settings and how do they see this experience? How can institutions tell this story effectively in quality assessment, when it is often misunderstood?


Optional Tour of the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation



Friday, November 15, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Address:  Student Engagement in Quality: More than Assurance?

Stuart Brand, Professor and National Teaching Fellow, Birmingham City University

10:30 a.m. –11:15 a.m.

Plenary: Student Voices and Perspectives

  • Maya Jonsonn (Brynn Mawr College)
  • Andrew Hurd (Humber College)
  • Jecema Hewitt Vasil (Centennial College)
  • Eilidh Fulton (Student President at Glasgow Caledonian University)

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.



Concurrent Sessions

5A: Quality Assurance and Student Participation in Higher Education in Germany

Presented by:

  • Philipp Jaeger, Studentischer Akkreditierungspool, KASAP

Higher education in Europe has moved towards a standardized system across the EU. The presenter will provide an overview of the German quality assurance scheme for degree programs in higher education, including program development accreditation. The first part of the talk will focus on the impact of the Bologna reforms on the higher education system as seen by students. In the second part, the presenter will discuss student participation in all steps of the process and outline its benefits.

5B: Finding “Student Voice” in Proposals for New and Modified Programs at Dalhousie University

Presented by:

  • Dr. Susan Joudrey, Senior Educational Developer, Curriculum, Dalhousie University
  • Courtney Sutton, Academic Quality Assurance Manager. Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University recently completed a process improvement initiative to enhance academic program proposals. This session provides an analysis of how student engagement is defined in the quality enhancement process. The presenters will examine how institutional and external frameworks identify and enact student engagement as part of quality assurance. This session will also prompt participants to reflect on their institutional processes and consider the challenges in engaging students along with supports to ensure success.

5C: Indigenous Students and Community in Quality Assurance

Presented by:

  • Victoria Jackson, Senior Quality Assurance Advisor, Indigenous Advances Education and Skills Council
  • Juan Marsiaj, Senior Quality Assurance Advisor, Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council

To guide and direct its work, in February 2019 the Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council hosted the “Our Community, Our Choice Conference,” where students of Indigenous Institutes shared their educational experiences and identified the types of support that promoted their success. The conference demonstrated the benefits, opportunities and challenges of engaging students in quality assurance processes. IAESC’s Indigenous approach shows how these lessons will help improve QA.

12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.


12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Roundtable Discussion:  Engaging Students in QA – Morphing Ideas into Action

Facilitiated by:

  • Kelly O’Neill, Dean, Program Planning, Development and Renewal, Humber College
  • Michelle Cole, Director, Academic Quality, Centennial College

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

6A: Engaging Students and Other Stakeholders in QA Processes – What Works for Us

Presented by:

  • Mislav Balkovic, Dean, Algebra University College

For more than a decade the Algebra University College has been a QA pioneer in Croatian higher education, being ranked first by the national QA agency in comparison of some 120 institutions. Most of the results originate from numerous student and stakeholder engagement setups, as well as from value they perceive from such involvement. The presentation will highlight approaches such as; “Work placement portal”, “Coordination for quality”, “student, alumni and stakeholder surveys”, “Economic Council”, etc.

6B: Canadian Practices: A National Survey of Institutional QA Offices

Presented by:

  • Dr. Mary Catharine Lennon, Senior Policy Advisor, Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB)
  • Tracey McCutcheon, Program Coordinator, Honours Bachelor of Healthcare Management, Seneca College

This research presentation will discuss findings from the first and only survey examining the role of students in quality assurance processes across Canadian colleges and universities.  Participants in the session will learn of trends in program and institutional practices, as well as policy models and concepts for supporting the meaningful engagement of students in quality enhancement activities.

6C: Considering Outcomes of Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnership as Quality Indicators

Presented by:

  • Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Katharine Woordworth Professor of Education and Director, Teaching and Learning Institute Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges

Quality assurance that excludes students' perspectives and participation is not sufficiently informed to ensure quality education. Research on student-faculty pedagogical partnership consistently identifies outcomes related to experiences of belonging, affective and academic engagement, institutional contribution, and job preparation. In this session the presenter argues that these outcomes, as they inform students’ broader educational experience, constitute a compelling set of quality indicators.

6D: Beyond the Pizza Lunch: Is it Time for a New Model of Student Engagement in Quality Assurance?

Presented by:

  • Kate Peters, Portfolio Initiatives Manager Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), University of Alberta

Recent theories of student development posit that student experience is contingent on identity which is complex, situational and interactive. Representations of the “typical” student in QA are often shaped by a small dataset and limited encounters. The resulting essentialist view of the student needs to be revisited. Participants will discuss strategies for engagement which promote understanding of insider perspectives of diverse students whose identity is fluid, contextual and interdependent.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

A Call to Action

Kelly O’Neill, Dean, Program Planning, Development and Renewal, Humber College

Closing Remarks

Jason Hunter, Vice President, Students and Institutional Planning, Humber College
Marilyn Herie, Vice President, Academic & Chief Learning Officer, Centennial College

Please note the program is subject to change and will be updated continuously up to the event start date.

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