University of Guelph Learning Outcomes

The University of Guelph Learning Outcomes Rubric identifies critical professional skills that accomplished and capable students should have upon graduation. The skills are grouped under five competencies that are highly desirable among employers.

Below you’ll find a description of each competency with four corresponding traits to help you understand and identify skills that are pertinent to your current success and beyond. 


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

  • Inquiry and Analysis: A systematic process of exploring issues, objects and works through the collection and analysis of evidence that result in informed conclusions or judgments.
  • Problem Solving: Is a process in which one works through a series of operations to come to a conclusion.
  • Creativity: Involves the ability to adapt to situations of change, to initiate change and to take intellectual risks.
  • Depth and Breadth of Understanding: Demonstrates detailed knowledge in one or more disciplines and integrates knowledge across disciplinary boundaries.


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.

  • Information Literacy: The ability to know when there is a need for information, where to locate it and the ability to identify the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats.
  • Quantitative Literacy: Includes numeracy, and a comfort in working with numerical data.
  • Technological Literacy: The ability to select and use appropriate technology.
  • Visual Literacy: The ability to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use and create images and visual media and content.


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.

  • Global Understanding: Comprehension of the variety of political, religious, cultural, geographical, biological, environmental and historical forces in cultures.
  • Sense of Historical Development: Understanding of disciplines in a modern society; its limitations and developments.
  • Civic Knowledge and Engagement: Local and global working to make a difference in the civic life of communities and to be conscience of difference perspectives (generational and gender).
  • Intercultural Competence: A set of cognitive, affective and behavioural skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts. 


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 of attentiveness and listening, as well as reading comprehension. It includes the ability to communicate and synthesize information, arguments, and analyses accurately and reliably.

  • Oral Communication: Includes interpersonal skills, oral speaking and active listening.
  • Written Communication: The ability to express one’s ideas through a variety of writing styles.
  • Reading Comprehension: The understanding of writing.
  • Integrative Communication: A mental process that integrates existing knowledge to develop and communicate new knowledge across the curriculum.


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. 

  • Teamwork: Working together in a respectful and collaborative manner to complete tasks.
  • Ethical Reasoning: Includes moral maturity; a moral sense of mind behind decision-making.
  • Leadership: Involves having a vision of where the organization is headed and the ability to give direction and guidance to others. 
  • Personal Organization/Time Management: An ability to manage several tasks at once and prioritize.

Click here to view the full rubic for the University of Guelph Learning Outcomes


The University of Guelph's website for Learning Outcomes can be viewed by clicking here. 



Literacy: Technological Literacy I would like to learn to efficiently operate a Hewlett Packard 1100 HPLC which will help me get further work experience in the pharmaceutical industry. I'll request HPLC training and ask to be involved in HPLC analyses. I'll know I'm successful when I can set up and execute an HPLC run and produce the final results using the data system software.


Oral Communication


I would like to improve my presentation skills by the end of this co-op work term. Presentation skills are critical to my goal of entering the management level. I'll ask to assist with the preparation and delivery of presentations with the department and ask about presenting my work report at the end of the semester. I'll take a PowerPoint training session while on my work term.

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