Learning Outcomes

In 2012, the University of Guelph defined five institutional learning outcomes: critical and creative thinking, literacy, global understanding, communicating, and professional and ethical behaviour.

Critical and Creative Thinking

Inquiry and Analysis, Problem Solving, Creativity, Depth and Breadth of Understanding

Critical and creative thinking is a concept in which one applies logical principles, after much inquiry and analysis, to solve problems in with a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking and risk taking. Those mastering this outcome show evidence of integrating knowledge and applying this knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. Depth and breadth of understanding of disciplines is essential to this outcome.


Information Literacy, Quantitative Literacy, Technological Literacy, Visual Literacy

Literacy is the ability to extract information from a variety of resources, assess the quality and validity of the material, and use it to discover new knowledge. The comfort in using quantitative literacy also exists in this definition, as does using technology effectively and developing visual literacy.

Global Understanding

Global Understanding, Sense of Historical Development, Civic Knowledge and Engagement, Intercultural Competence

Global understanding encompasses the knowledge of cultural similarities and differences, the context (historical, geographical, political and environmental) from which these arise, and how they are manifest in modern society. Global understanding is exercised as civic engagement, intercultural competence and the ability to understand an academic discipline outside of the domestic context.


Oral Communication, Written Communication, Reading Comprehension, Integrative Communication

Communicating is the ability to interact effectively with a variety of individuals and groups, and convey information successfully in a variety of formats including oral and written communication. Communicating also comprises attentiveness and listening, as well as reading comprehension. It includes the ability to communicate and synthesize information, arguments, and analyses accurately and reliably.

Professional and Ethical Behaviour

Teamwork, Ethical Reasoning, Leadership, Personal Organization and Time Management

Professional and ethical behaviour requires the ability to accomplish the tasks at hand with proficient skills in teamwork and leadership, while remembering ethical reasoning behind all decisions. The ability for organizational and time management skills is essential in bringing together all aspects of managing self and others. Academic integrity is central to mastery in this outcome.