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Olds College of Agriculture & Technology Case Study

Discover how Olds College of Agriculture & Technology transformed curriculum management with Kuali for better accessibility, updating ease, and transparency.

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Olds College of Agriculture & Technology Case Study: Improving Curriculum Accessibility, Visibility, and Transparency Using Kuali Student Suite

With our previous tool, there was no way we could have been as flexible and dynamic as we are with Kuali,” says Jon Newman, Manager of Educational Technology and Learning Commons, Olds College. “Now, we can be really responsive to what we need. It was really hard to change things back with our old tool. With Kuali, it can be done, and it can be done pretty quickly.


Olds College of Agriculture & Technology is transforming agriculture for a better world to meet the challenges and opportunities impacting the agriculture sector.  Olds College is a technical institution offering industry demand-driven programming with an intensive focus on agriculture and technology with a 100+ year history of advancing agriculture in Olds, Alberta. The College offers hands-on learning environments with a focus on agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental stewardship programs. Through applied research and integrated learning, Olds College is proud to be Canada’s Smart Agriculture College, ranked among the Top 10 Research Colleges in Canada by Research Infosource Inc. 

For faculty at Olds College, the Teaching and Learning Centre of Innovation (TLCI) offer instructional skills support and guidance;  helping them plan, deliver and assess courses. Olds College embraces a “healthy curriculum” approach that compares the curriculum as written to the curriculum as lived through the student experience to keep learners on track. 


The student population at Olds College has jumped by 40 per cent since 2019-20. The rapid rise requires better organization and responsiveness for curriculum to support a larger group of learners and instructors hired to teach classes built on existing curricula.  

The College previously used a curriculum management tool that housed documents in a database difficult for instructors and students to access, as it operated through a single administrative point of contact. Plus, curricula were uploaded as PDFs, sparking a file management issue — there was no easy way to update existing curricula or tell which PDF was the most current version.

The accessibility issues impacted classroom dynamics and outcomes. What students experienced in the classroom didn’t always follow the written curriculum, often because instructors found it too cumbersome to track down curricular documents during the semester. 

“Our deans and associate deans and our VP of academics knew what they thought was happening in classrooms,” explains Amy Christiansen, Manager of Faculty Support and Academic Resources, Olds College. “But that wasn't actually what was happening in classrooms. Curriculum drifted away from what was written.” Olds wanted a new system to align curricula with course outcomes and competencies by:

  • Improving accessibility
  • Simplifying the update process
  • Creating a more uniform appearance

The College also desired more open, flexible and transparent software that could evolve with future student needs.


In spring 2023, after considering several options, Olds College began onboarding Kuali Student Suite’s Curriculum Management and Academic Catalog, a curriculum management and catalog software allowing colleges and universities to manage their curriculum and publish it in their course catalog. This configurable product met all the needs of faculty, administration and students.

It took just three months to complete the transition from the old curriculum management tool. Kuali standardized the appearance of curriculum across departments, giving it a modern look and feel.

Olds College solicited input from faculty and administrators on setting up the course form, operating the catalog to encourage engagement and more. Kuali incorporated those suggestions, which gained buy-in from Olds staff and strengthened the end product.

“When we encountered pieces that were not quite the way we wanted, it was very easy to adjust and say to the Kuali team, ‘This is what I want.’ I found the experience to be very positive,” says Newman. He also appreciates the clear timeline, deadlines and expectations the Kuali team provided during the implementation process. Newman notes he never waited more than a few hours for a response when submitting a question to Kuali.


The Kuali system accomplished Olds College's goals of making curriculum visible, accessible and transparent. Faculty no longer need to search for their competencies, and expectations for students are laid out clearly. This has led to better learning outcomes while allowing new sessional or contract instructors to see exactly how a course was designed and developed.

The centralization offered by the tool also inspired greater institution-wide awareness of and concern for curriculum health and management. 

“We have a broader ownership and responsibility of stewarding quality curriculum,” says Christiansen. “We can also be assured that any curriculum changes align with the institution and allow us to center the quality of education.”  

With less energy spent on curriculum navigation and maintenance, faculty can shift focus to new programs and course development. The Kuali software invites collaboration and transparency by letting people share proposals, and the faculty took advantage. Christiansen notes the November Academic Council meeting saw the greatest number of new proposals in college history (more than 50), which everyone had a chance to review before the meeting. 

“With this system, we have reached a broadening institutional understanding of how to steward curricular health,” says Christiansen. “We're doing a much better job of it and have become more efficient at it thanks to Kuali.”

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