Political Science Rich Transcripts

The UBC Political Science department is now providing graduates with a more robust representation of what they learned and did. It’s called a Rich Transcript. Graduates of the majors and honours programs who completed their degree in 2018 or 2019 have now been sent a personalized Rich Transcript. The program will continue into 2020 at least.

The department hopes this will help graduates recall and articulate the various aspects of their learning experience and the skills they developed.

The Rich Transcript is a two-page document showing:

  • A list of the student’s courses, with full course titles;
  • A word cloud drawn from the instructors’ course descriptions for the courses (not the UBC calendar descriptions);
  • Aggregated statistics for each student covering the number of writing assignments, pages written, peer reviews, oral presentations, hours of group work, research designs, primary research, internships and service learning;
  • A list of 23 skills showing in how many of the student’s courses each skill was a key learning outcome.

Here is an example (click to enlarge)


The data source for the RT is a questionnaire completed by instructors of each course, part of a larger project called the Political Science Course Characteristics Census. Professors were asked about learning objectives, the type of assessments and the grade percentage assigned to each, the modes of teaching and learning, and many other characteristics of the courses. This data was then aggregated by student according to the courses they took.

Thanks to Arts ISIT, Sanam Shirazi, Arian Zand, and Julie Walchli for their contributions to this project.