Student Led Individually Created Courses (SLICCs)

SLICCs are among a growing body of self-directed and experiential learning models in post-secondary institutions, which have been linked to improving students' ability to become effective, self-regulated learners. The traditional course structure is removed in a SLICC, with the instructor providing desired learning outcomes in broad strokes, prescribing little in terms of what will be learned and even less on how it will be learned. In a SLICC, defining these aspects of the course is in fact the student’s responsibility. A student’s plan outlines their proposed learning experience and how they will complete it. Additionally, they must audit the skills they currently possess and those they would need to develop to achieve results along with details outlining how they will develop them. And finally, students determine how they will assess themselves as they complete their proposed learning experience. Therefore, the SLICC framework offers a flexible, personalized, student-centered approach to learning that empowers students to actively participate in the co-creation and evaluation of their learning while developing lifelong skills and capacities required to address the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) they will encounter throughout life.

A scholarly review of the SLICC framework reveals four main benefits for students:

  1. SLICCs treat students as partners in their learning—as co-creators and co-evaluators, which results in deeper student engagement and motivation (Bovill et al. 2016).

  2. SLICCs help students identify and articulate the growth and development resulting from their learning experience and improve their assessment literacy (Riley and MacCabe 2017).

  3. SLICCs promote the creation of learning experiences that closely align with the development of employability skills (such as self-management, self-assessment, lifelong learning, communication, collaboration, innovation mindset, critical thinking) (Levy, Levy and Rowa-Dewar 2021).

  4. SLICCs promote “mental maturity” and a “growth mindset” that trains students to meet the demands of the world they will be entering after graduation—VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) (Derby-Talbot and Wonham 2023).

By adopting the SLICC framework, instructors open the door to a student-centred learning experience that empowers students to take ownership of their education, equipping them with essential skills and a mindset to succeed in the future.

Interested in learning more?

  • Review the Examples of SLICCs at UW

  • Take a look at the Instructors SLICC Toolkit - a resource to help you learn what is involved in implementing a SLICC and how to get started.

  • Contact CTE’s Senior Educational Developer, Integrative and Experiential Learning, Katherine Lithgow, to explore its potential to enrich the growth and development of your students.

See our original SLICCs Learning Community members.

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LITE GRANT: Evaluating the Impact of SLICCs

Brendan Wylie-Toal and Wayne Chang introduced our work Student Led Independently Created Courses (SLICCs). Developed at the University of Edinburgh, SLICCs promote student ownership of their learning by allowing students to co-create their learning experience, leading to deeper student engagement. (Bovill et al. 2016; Healey et al., 2014). The SLICC framework helps students better identify and articulate their growth and development resulting from the experience, advances their learning and improves their ability to self-assess (Price et al. 2012). As well, it promotes the creation of learning experiences that more closely align with the development of employability skills and graduate attributes preparing students for an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world. Access the presentation slides here. 


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Considerations for Implementing & Assessing Student Led Individually Create Courses (SLICCs) Part 1

Considerations for Implementing & Assessing Student Led Individually Create Courses (SLICCs) Part 2

The Student-Led Individually-Created Courses Learning Community (SLICCs LC) is a five-part series intended to introduce the model to interested instructors. Throughout the FLC, you'll be provided with resources, readings, tools and colleagues' experiences with implementing the SLICCs model. This LC is an extension of the work we've done through a LITE Grant "Evaluating a New Student-Centric Learning Approach: The Impact of SLICCS on Student Learning Outcomes".

Through this LC, we'll explore the SLICC model and how it could be adapted and implemented in the University of Waterloo context. During these sessions, you will be completing the SLICC’s FLC Workbook, which can be found here.



The following readings explore ways for students and instructors to develop, engage, and support feedback practices and feedback literacy: