The Transcript Innovation Initiative

Overview

For many decades, the academic transcript issued by post-secondary institutions has remained essentially the same, i.e., a chronological list of courses taken by a student, along with grades, program(s) enrolled in, degree earned, and some related information. More recently, factors have prompted North American colleges and universities to consider significant changes and enhancements to the way they capture and highlight students’ learning, including: academic innovation, document security, technology, and students’ transition to work.

In late 2018, the Transcript Innovation Initiative (TII) was formed, tasked with the responsibility of exploring the future possibilities for the University of Toronto transcript. This includes a PDF transcript and an extended transcript that captures more information about the student experience (i.e. link to Co-Curricular Record, awards record).

The ultimate goal of the Transcript Innovation Initiative (TII) is to explore the possibilities of providing University of Toronto students with a record of their university experiences and accomplishments that is accurate, comprehensive and secure:  

  • Accurate:  the transcript should be a true reflection of the student’s full university experience relevant to their studies.  
  • Comprehensive:  the transcript will contain, or link to, sufficient information for the reader to gain an understanding of the learner’s academic experiences and capabilities. 
  • Secure:  the transcript can be trusted by recipients to be an authentic document based on institutional records. 

The TII will conclude in mid-2020 with the delivery of a final report. The report will summarize the project and is intended to be a roadmap for pursuing ideas as individual projects in the coming years.

Membership

The TII Committee is tasked with guiding a shared vision for the future of the University’s official transcript. The TII consists of a Steering Committee and Working Group.

Project Sponsors: 

  • Sandy Welsh, Vice Provost, Students 
  • Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergrad Education & Academic Programs (VPIUE/VPAP) 

Steering Committee: 

  • Sandy Welsh, Vice Provost, Students 
  • Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergrad Education & Academic Programs (VPIUE/VPAP) 
  • Richard Levin, Executive Director, Enrolment Services and University Registrar, Enrolment Services 
  • Heather Kelly, Executive Director, Student Life Programs & Services, Student Life 
  • David Newman, Executive Director, Student Experience, Student Life 
  • Silvia Rosatone, Director, Office of Convocation 
  • Gretchen Kerr, Vice Dean, Programs, School of Graduate Studies 
  • Cathy Eberts, Executive Director, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration (EASI) 

Working Group: 

  • Sinisa Markovic, Enrolment Services 
  • Joseph Minichini, Enrolment Services 
  • Kimberly Elias, Student Life 
  • Nicola Woods, Rotman School of Management 
  • Josie Lalonde, SGS 
  • Khuong Doan, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering 
  • Naureen Nizam, UTSC 
  • Wendy Pais, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education 
  • Vladimir Soloviev, UTM 
  • Julian Weinrib, Office of the VP, Innovations in Undergraduate Education 
  • Neil Neebar, Faculty of Arts and Science 
  • Vikram Chadalawada, EASI 
  • Jennifer Francisco, Office of VP, Academic Programs 

Timeline

  • Planning phase: Mapped out the high-level goals of the project and developed a detailed project plan.  
  • Exploration phase: Put project plan into action by ideating and exploring options for the transcript, meeting with the TII Committee, and consulting with subject matter experts to further cultivate concepts. Through the summer and fall of 2019, the TII Working Group will be consulting with a number of University stakeholders (e.g., faculty, staff, student groups) to further validate and collect feedback on the initiative.  
  • Closure phase: Deliver a final report to the TII Committee in the spring of 2020.

Ideas Being Explored by the TII

The digitization and expansion of the Official Transcript, along with the development of a comprehensive record is currently being explored. The TII envisions that a comprehensive record could one day be bundled with the official transcript, with the intention of providing the full picture of a student’s learning experience. Since this is the exploration phase, ideas are being explored and discussed, which will then lead to a recommendation on which items to move forward with.

Ideas for the Official Transcript

PDF Transcript: A PDF version of the University of Toronto transcript is expected by the fall of 2019. As the first step forward in modernizing the transcript, it opens the possibilities for further enhancements such as embedded links to course and program details, a customized transcript legend, and the bundling of an extended transcript.

Course Information: Embedded links from within the PDF transcript to additional course information, such as course descriptions, course marking schemes, and high impact practices details.

Program Information: Embedded links from within the PDF transcript to additional program information, such as program level learning outcomes and program descriptions.

Placement Details: Placement details, linked from the PDF transcript, for PEY, Co-op, observerships and internships completed by the student as part of their academic program(s).

Customized Transcript Legend: A customized transcript legend that displays only the marks/grades and notations relevant to the student’s academic activities.

Ideas for a Comprehensive Record

Scholarships and Awards Record: A scholarship and awards record that displays the student’s scholarship and awards details.

Co-Curricular Record: The bundling of the existing University of Toronto Co-curricular Record with the official transcript.

Current and Future Technological Trends

Changes in technology and data standards play a vital role in keeping transcripts secure, portable, and innovative. The Transcript Innovation Initiative is addressing current and future technological trends in higher education through studying industry practices, standards, and emerging technologies. Read more about transcript technologies here.

Get Involved!

How do you use the transcript? What kinds of additional information would you most like to see on the transcript? Would you be interested in ordering your transcript and Co-Curricular Record (CCR) together? Would you like to see other information included together with the official transcript(e.g. Awards Record)?

Get involved in the Transcript Innovation Initiative by submitting your comments and ideas to us.

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