Integrated Learning Stream (ISL)

What is Integrated Learning Stream (ILS)?

Five specified courses will be covered in a collaborative environment with content that connects the courses together. There will also be a much larger emphasis placed on hands-on project/lab-based learning. There will be a series of active learning experiences where you’ll be learning the material of all of the courses in more of a free-form way, putting the material in context of real-world situations. 

The Term Project

There will be one overarching project that will drive the shape of the learning roadmap throughout the semester, though this will be subdivided into component pieces that constitute their own sub-projects. The project will be the design, construction, and testing of a simple portable audio player, which could have application to e.g. allowing autistic children to express themselves easier. Component pieces of this include (a) memory design for storage; (b) Analog-to-digital and/or digital-to-analog conversion; (c) filtering; (d) amplification; (e) LED indicators; and (f) power management. There will also be opportunity for student-chosen extensions.


One important difference is that there will be some assessment pieces where the assigned grade may contribute to more than one individual course. For example, when you build the amplifier for the audio player, your grade for the demo of that component may contribute to both ENEL361 and ENEL343.

It is important to note that individual letter grades will still be assigned to each of the individual courses; there will not be one overall grade assigned to you for the whole experience. Rest assured that detailed rubrics will be available so that you know exactly what you will be evaluated on, how you be evaluated, and on how that grade might be distributed amongst the individual courses.

Key information


Winter 2021

Avaliable spots

72 students

Courses offered

ENEL300 – Electrical and Computer Engineering Professional Skills

ENEL327 – Signals and Transforms

ENEL343 – Circuits II

ENEL361 – Electronic Devices and Materials

ENCM369 – Computer Organization

ISL lectures

ENEL300 L02

ENEL327 L03

ENEL343 L02

ENEL361 L02

ENCM369 L03

Application information

Application status

See courses registration in myUCalgary

Application deadline

Midnight on Friday, January 29

Additional requirements

This program is open to 2nd year undergraduate students majoring in electrical engineering  or software engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering.

Info session


Drafted design

Have questions?

For program information, please email


Program details

Once you are in, you are all in: because of the non-sequential nature of the material, you won’t be permitted to opt out partway through and fall back into the ‘traditional’ lecture sections, either in whole or in part.

You have an opportunity to participate in an exciting initiative in engineering education, and the advantages that you can gain from stepping outside the box are plenty; theory and hands-on activities will be much more integrated, you’ll pick up some bench skills (e.g. soldering), and we are planning for several field trips.

This ILS program is still somewhat experimental and may not be as refined as established courses; there are bound to be some hiccups along the way. You will be playing a valuable part in the evolution of this idea, and your constructive feedback will be actively sought to help improve it for the future.

The instructors, staff and students involved in developing ILS strongly feel that it represents a better way to teach engineering and, overall, any students participating are expected to have an enhanced learning experience.

We can accommodate up to 72 students in total, but sections are available in the system to register in already. As such, it is basically a first-come first-served process to enrol – there is no further requirement other than you will need to obtain the necessary grades in all pre-requisite courses to continue in ILS. If you are going to enrol, remember that you must register in the ILS sections of all 5 courses at once (you can’t mix and match ILS sections in one course with non-ILS sections in other courses). The ILS sections of the courses are as follows:

  • ENEL300 L02
  • ENEL327 L03
  • ENEL343 L02
  • ENEL361 L02
  • ENCM369 L03

Yes. Over the two years that we have run the program we have had several students that completed the Summer session of ENEL327, for instance. Just don’t bother registering in that course when you do your registration, but make sure you register in the ILS sections of the other four courses. You do NOT have to redo the course to be a part of ILS.

Yes. We have made every effort to timetable ILS course sections such that they do not conflict with the various courses in that semester that are part of Minors available to ENEL students. There may be e.g. 15min overlaps with some courses, but this can be handled in the normal manner with a Time Conflict Approval. Contact the Engineering Student Centre (ESC) for more information.

No. You will still get separate grades for each of the ILS courses, but there may be ILS program components and deliverables whose assessment will contribute to the grade in multiple courses.

Not in the least. All the students that went through ILS in the first iteration have subsequently made their way through the 3rd year of ENEL with no issues being brought to our attention (we actively sought their responses about this). In fact, anecdotally we have heard that the ILS students were better prepared for hands-on activities (i.e. labs) in 3rd year.