The Engineering Curriculum Committee (ECC) is requesting proposals for the development of a new course that focuses on tactics for workplace success.
This course will be the first core PD course that Engineering students take, and should develop an understanding that the workplace involves a lot more than just the application of technical knowledge. The course should emphasize the importance of soft/professional skills and help students to develop the habit of assessing and setting goals for their soft skills, just as they do for their technical skills. The course should be tactical rather than strategic, dealing with practical professional development topics that might be encountered in a first co-op term.
Proposed course outcomes include:
- Students will be able to define professional development and compare the nature of technical skill development with that of soft professional skill development
- Students will be able to explain the importance of professional development in engineering
- Students will develop the habit of pro-actively assessing their workplace and professional skills to determine the type of professional development that is most needed
The Waterloo Professional Development (WatPD) Program aims to improve the professional skills of Waterloo’s students through the delivery of dynamic and engaging online courses. Recognizing that the workplace provides an opportunity for real world professional skill development and application, the PD courses serve to provide a theoretical foundation for students. The courses also provide an opportunity for students to make connections between what they are experiencing in work or volunteer experiences and the PD course content.
The ECC has created recommendations for the course content, as follows:
Very important “a-ha moment”:
Making opportunities and dealing with challenges in the workplace:
Unit 8Students look back at the 5 topics and draw conclusions about the importance of professional development. They can identify some of the challenges of soft skills development.
Tips for what to do at the end of each co-op job:
The course should be designed to integrate with the WatPD program. WatPD program objectives and course details can be found on the WatPD website.
Submit a résumé and a 4–6 page proposal that adheres to the guidelines for the development of WatPD courses (see Appendix A below) and includes at least the following information:
- A brief description of how the learning outcomes will be addressed and how the course supports the development of professional skills.
- A week-by-week (10 week) outline/syllabus with topics.
- A brief outline of a sample unit with activities, readings, assignments and marking keys.
- An example of how reflection will be incorporated in the course.
- A description of previous experience in developing and/or delivering courses on this and/or similar topics.
- A description of previous teaching experience with university students.
- A description of previous experience in developing online courses.
Proposals that include group work components must discuss how group work contributes to the course objectives and should describe how non-participation will be addressed.
Authors of shortlisted proposals will be asked to prepare a 10 minute presentation on their proposal. Presentations will occur during the Fall 2018 term.
- The University will have exclusive and unrestricted right to use and to modify the course as necessary to meet the needs of the WatPD program.
- Author(s) must be employed at the University of Waterloo and have relevant teaching experience.
- Redesign and/or revisions may be required during the design review, and following the first offer of the course.
- There will be remuneration for the development of the content and for assuming the responsibilities of an instructor. Contact Erin Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
Appendix A: Guidelines for the Development of WatPD Courses
- A complete Course runs for 10 weeks (the “Term”) and requires an average of 20-25 hours a term of the student’s time.
- Each Course is worth 0.5 academic credits.
- Each Course will be graded on a CREDIT/NO CREDIT basis.
- The Course must have a course outline as required by Senate.
- Students cannot be asked to incur costs to complete the course (e.g. no requirements to purchase text books).
- The Author and the University will create a schedule of deliverables to which the Author will be bound. Any changes to this schedule must be approved in writing by WatPD, CEL and the Author.
- The Author will work with the University throughout development of the Course to ensure all program standards are met.
- The Author will meet with the University to review content, conduct a design review and any other review required at any time.
- The University reserves the right to add or alter Course content or assessments as necessary to meet program objectives (including, but not limited to: program evaluation initiatives, employer engagement initiatives, or alignment with faculty initiatives).
- The Course must be completely finished and ready for delivery prior to the start of the term unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties in writing.
- The Course must be delivered asynchronously.
- The Course must be fully available online and deliverable through the University’s Learning Management System.
- The Course must comprise 4-8 assessments in the Term.
- Assessments must follow best practices for academic integrity and be designed to deter plagiarism and other academic offences.
- Information recall assessments should be limited to small exercises forming no more than 10% of the final grade.
- No assessments can be scheduled for the first two weeks of the Term.
- Mandatory assignments (i.e., Assignments which must be submitted and passed to earn course credit) require the approval of the University.
- There must be flexibility in assignment deadlines, which can be decided on a case-by-case basis in consultation with WatPD.