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Creating Student-Centered Course Goals. A tutorial created by the Siena College Center for Excellence in Teaching. What are Course “Goals”?. What is the general outcome that you seek for your students? What skills/knowledge should they improve/gain as a result of having taken your class?
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Creating Student-Centered Course Goals A tutorial created by the Siena College Center for Excellence in Teaching
What are Course “Goals”? • What is the general outcome that you seek for your students? • What skills/knowledge should they improve/gain as a result of having taken your class? • What has changed for, in, or about, the student?
What does “Student-Centered” mean? • How will the student be changed as a result of taking this course? • Based upon what the student’s outcome should be—Knowledge? Competency? Improvement? • It is not based upon how the teacher will conduct the learning opportunity
How many course goals should there be? • Generally, 4-6 goals are included and assessed • Can be more, but this would be too many to assess—you may not choose to assess all of these goals • Students will certainly learn other things in your course, but you see these as being very important, if not absolutely necessary
Why put Course Goals on a Syllabus? • Students will be more likely to learn if they know what they are supposed to learn. • It helps students to “make sense” out of the course. • Accrediting bodies demand it (assessment is not possible without them); Outside consultants recommend it.
How should I start? • Look at Slide #2 for help; write down some general outcomes that you seek—then take the "Course Goals Inventory“ (if this doesn’t link go to the full screen and try it) • Do this for each course that you are unsure of what it is that you believe students should learn in this course • Once armed with the results—we must construct the proper wording
Why is wording important? • Wording needs to show how your students will change as a result of this course, or some part of it—it should NOT express what they will be exposed or introduced to (if the language expresses your actions—then it is teacher centered) • This involves the ability to do something that could not be done before—This might also involve becoming better at some skill
What else should these goals accomplish? • Course goals, ideally, should connect to the mission of your department, which should connect to that of your academic School, which should connect to the mission of the College—Higher level thinking skills will connect to the mission of your academic School and the College
Bloom’s Taxonomy Benjamin Bloom created this taxonomy for categorizing levels of abstraction for questions that commonly occur in educational settings. • Gives us a framework that we can use for “thinking” goals that are student-centered • Each of the following slides will show a progression up the “thinking” scale from the least to the most complex (or lowest to highest level thinking skills)—there will also be examples of active verbs that can be used when writing goals
observation and recall of information knowledge of dates, events, places knowledge of major ideas mastery of subject matter Define Identify Label List Match Name Order Relate 1. Knowledge: To recall information
understanding information grasp meaning translate knowledge into new context interpret facts, compare, contrast order, group, infer causes predict consequences Classify Describe Explain Locate Report Review Select Sort Summarize Translate Restate Recognize 2. Comprehension: To interpret information in one’s own words
use information use methods, concepts, theories in new situations solve problems using required skills or knowledge Apply Choose Compute Demonstrate Dramatize Employ Illustrate Interpret Operate Schedule Sketch Solve 3. Application: To apply knowledge or generalize it for a new situation
seeing patterns organization of parts recognition of hidden meanings identification of components Analyze Appraise Categorize Compare Contrast Diagram Differentiate Discriminate Distinguish Estimate Inventory Test 4. Analysis: To break down knowledge into parts and relate parts to the whole
use old ideas to create new ones generalize from given facts relate knowledge from several areas predict, draw conclusions Assemble Collect Compose Construct Create Design Formulate Organize Plan Revise Synthesize 5. Synthesis: To bring together parts of knowledge to form a whole and build relationships for new situations
compare and discriminate between ideas assess value of theories, presentations make choices based on reasoned argument verify value of evidence recognize subjectivity Appraise Argue Assess Choose Conclude Criticize Estimate Evaluate Judge Predict Rate Score Support Value 6. Evaluation: To make judgments on the basis of given criteria
Examples of Course Goals: The overall goals of the Foundations Sequence are to enable students: • ·To develop a responsible and reflective worldview that recognizes the benefits of diversity, serving others and sustaining our natural and social worlds. • ·To apply critical thinking and moral reasoning skills. • ·To improve oral and written communication skills that promote personal, academic, and professional success. • ·To demonstrate a level of information literacy skill that meets the standards set forth by the Foundations Information Literacy Plan. • ·To appreciate the life and values of Francis and Clare of Assisi.
And Objectives… Students will: • describe the different attitudes that people have towards the natural world and evaluate the consequences of holding these attitudes [e.g., mechanistic vs. organic views of nature; anthropocentric vs. egalitarian environmental ethics] • identify the environmental issues facing the world today, and articulate the connection between contemporary lifestyles and the ecological crisis [e.g. the ramifications of consumerism vs. a return to more simplified living] • explain the relevance of the Franciscan Tradition to questions of environmental responsibility [e.g., respecting nature as a brother or sister and seeing that we need to serve not only other people, but the natural world] • Compare various views on the nature of society • Describe the impact that society has on individuals and that individuals have on society • Analyze the existence and consequences of inequalities in society • Examine the meaning of social responsibility • Examine and further develop their sense of self. • Recognize the complexity of any person’s identity • Recognize and appreciate their responsibility to themselves, their community, and the world.
Objectives are most often little different than goals and thus are not necessary in most cases. • However, in some cases they can make large vision-like learning goals more manageable by breaking them down into parts (this was done in the previous 2 slides with the Foundations 100 goals). • You do not need both goals and objectives—though at least one is necessary.
Connecting Course Goals with Learning and Assessment (Please print the following slide)
Planning Course Goals and Student-Learning AssessmentCourse: _____________________
Using the Planning Form • You can now fill in the first column of boxes under “Goal” • Once that is done, go to the next column and consider what skills the student will need (go from the Macro to the Micro) and list them • For example (from the Foundations Sequence) …
Planning Course Goals and Student-Learning AssessmentAn Example from Foundations 105: Drake
What have you accomplished? • If you use this procedure for your courses, student-learning will surely improve! In addition, you will have been able to document that learning—something that can make students, parents, administrators and accrediting bodies very happy (thank you!)
What should I do with the forms and other evidence? • Keep them in portfolio form (as part of a course or teaching portfolio) to compare longitudinally • Share your successes with others who teach the same or similar courses (share your failures as well-they may have some suggestions) • You might consider including them in your faculty status file • The Center for Excellence in Teaching would love to hear how it’s going and what you have done!
Questions? • If you have any questions or need assistance—please contact Bob Drake at firstname.lastname@example.org (x6821)