AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT QATAR UNIVERSITY Developing Course Learning Outcomes and Course Syllabus Design (1) Dr. Amal BouZeineddine Associate Director Center for Teaching and Learning December 2007
Developing Course Learning Outcomes and syllabus design Session 1: Introductory Discussion
Introduction: Discussion Questions • How does your course align with your Department/program goals? • How does your course align with other courses in the Department? • How would you describe your course to a student who is taking it as an elective or who is taking it as a required course?
Introduction: Discussion Questions Course Syllabus Design: • What is a course syllabus, is it an outline, a contract with students, a description of course requirements etc. ….? • What is the purpose of a course syllabus, is it to use as course reference, course evaluation tool etc. ……….?
Introduction: Discussion Questions 3. Who benefits from a course syllabus? How? 4. What should a course syllabus reflect, methodology of teaching, assessment strategy, course scope, etc. ……? Why? 5. What are the components of a course syllabus, assignment dates, test dates, textbook title, etc. …….?
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUTQATAR UNIVERSITY Developing Course Learning Outcomes and Course Syllabus Design (2) Course Basic Facts Dr. Amal BouZeineddine Associate Director Center for Teaching and Learning December 2007
Syllabus Components • Course Basic Facts • Course Description (prerequisites if any) • Course Description in University Catalogue • General Instructional Objectives (Optional) • Student (Specific) Learning Outcomes • Course Resources • Student Assessment • Course Policies • Course Outline • Suggestion: You may want to include, a relevant saying or personal motto, Faculty logo, a funny request etc. BE CREATIVE.
Syllabus Components: Course Basic Facts • Institution’s Name • Faculty • Department • Semester, Year • Course Title, Number, Credits • Course pre/co requisites • Course Meeting Time, Venue • Instructor’s Name (possibly title) • Contacts of Course Instructor: • Office # • Extension #; Cellular phone # ???? • E-mail Address • Office Hours • Few include their photograph; motto; saying; faculty logo etc.
Course Basic Information: Sample American University of Beirut Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of Education Educ. 245: Teaching of English as a Foreign Language in the Elementary School (co requisite Educ. 230) Semester: Fall 2007/2008
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT QATAR UNIVERSITY Developing Course Learning Outcomes and Course Syllabus Design (3) Course Description Dr. Amal BouZeineddine Associate Director Center for Teaching and Learning December 2007
Syllabus Components: Course Description Course descriptions allow students to visualize the content and methodology of the course; they provide an overview of the course. You may want to write the first draft of your course description, come back to it later and modify it based on Objectives and Learning Outcomes. In general, course descriptions fall into two categories: interrogatory or declarative.
Syllabus Components: Course Description Following is an example of a description that asks questions. Read it through and report whether it includes content methodology and overview: Interrogatory: Political Sciences 340 Individual Responsibility in Organizations This course examines research on responsibility and relates it to how we run our business, government, educational and other institutions. What do we do that sabotages responsibility? How can you design organizations so that people feel responsible? Is there a relationship between responsibility and efficiency? If so, why is it a secret? Method: collaborative inquiry.
Syllabus Components: Course Description Here is another example of a description which uses declarative statements. Read it through and report whether it includes content methodology and overview: Declarative: History 212 Renaissance Europe This course will examine the cultural and intellectual movement known as the Renaissance, from its origins in fourteenth-century Italy to its diffusion into the rest of Europe in the sixteenth century. We will trace the great changes in the world of learning and letters, the visual arts, and music, along with those taking place in politics, economics, and social organization. We will be reading primary sources as well as modern works. Discussions on issues and group presentations will be the main focus of our work.
Course Description: Tips You may want to use statements such as: The students will explore …… [List the topics covered in brief descriptive phrases] will be examined in relation to….. There will be emphasis on …. If the first line of a description does no more than repeat the course title, omit it and go on to the next line. If a term such as "laboratory", "seminar" or "workshop" is used in the title, you don’t need to repeat it in the description. If the course number or title adequately indicates the relative sophistication of the course, it is unnecessary to use "introduction to" or "advanced study of" in the course description. In general, the course description should cover the course aims, structure (methodology) and assessment. Use action words, active voice, convey a user-friendly tone, and use tasteful humor if you deem appropriate. Proof read!!
Other Samples of Course Description Sample 1 Course Title: Basic Training Course in Biologics Development Course Description:This course will provide an overview of the processes and problems common in Biological Development. The course will provide participants with an understanding of key points in the development of new biotechnology medicines from the initial identification of a potential therapeutic or vaccine candidate to post-approval monitoring. The course will focus on the decisions that need to be made throughout the drug development process and the criteria influencing these decisions. Case studies / PBL will be used to discuss course topics.
Other Samples of Course Description Sample 2: Summer at Case Equinox Program, 2006 Summer, Creative Writing, Sears 356 Course Description: Students explore the art and craft of creative writing including poetry, short story, essay, memoir, and drama. Time is spent developing observation, interpretation, and expression skills. The central focus throughout the course will be on unearthing a unique and personal voice. Raw material will be gathered from imagination, the senses, memory, readings, and the world around us. Informal readings will occur throughout the course and formal readings will be scheduled for the end of each week. Students will experiment with critical reading and thinking about creative writing through written and oral exercises.
Other Samples of Course Description Sample 3 Course Description Educ. 245 is a methodology course meant to prepare interns to teach language arts in the elementary school. The course combines theory and practice where interns discuss analyze and evaluate different approaches to teaching language arts in the elementary school, experiment with these approaches in their field experience and share their observations with their peers. Interns are expected to assume actual teaching responsibilities under the supervision of mentors at their cooperating schools. The course follows the discussion/inquiry model whereby students bring to class their field experiences, analyze based on course materials. Developing a teaching philosophy, compiling a working portfolio, doing a residency week and video taping micro teaching are essential components of Educ. 245. In this course, interns are treated and evaluated as professionals in the field of education who reflect on teaching practices and objectively assess their work as well as their peers’.
References • http://universitysenate.syr.edu/curricula/writing.html • http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/en/wtts/description.htm • http://precollege.case.edu/syl/CreativeWritingEquinox07.pdf • http://www.ctl.sas.upenn.edu/tips/index.html • http://www.usm.maine.edu/olli/national/pdf/USM-PR_Tips.pdf
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT QATAR UNIVERSITY Developing Course Learning Outcomes and Course Syllabus Design (4) Developing Course General Instructional Objectives (GIO’s) Dr. Amal BouZeineddine Associate Director Center for Teaching and Learning December 2007
General Instructional Objectives (GIO’s) • GIO’s are fairly broad statements reflecting what students should learn as a result of taking the course. • GIO’s express the general focus of the course and help students understand the direction the course will take. • An example of a course goal is: “Students will develop a basic speaking knowledge of the French language that will enable them to carry on a simple conversation with a native French speaker.” • Another course goal might be “Students will be able to apply basic economic concepts to current economic situations.”
General Instructional Objectives (GIO’s) • In articulating our GIO’s, we refer to general terms such as: students will acquire, know, understand, appreciate, grasp the significance of, believe, internalize, experience, recognize, identify etc. • To articulate our GIO’s, we could ask: In what ways will students be “different” when they finish the course? • GIO’s are where we intend to go, and learning outcomes are proof that you have arrived.
General Instructional Objectives (GIO’s) KEEP IN MIND: • A GIO is articulated in abstract terms. It is non observable /non measurable. It describes what we think students should know and know how to do, and what attitudes they should have by the end of the course. knowledge, skills, attitude. • GIO’s are concerned with students, not faculty, and will guide students in their studies. • GIO’S provide a basis for setting curriculum priorities to focus on the most meaningful content throughout the course. • Think about GIO’s as such: you can see someone drawing, but you cannot see him/her understanding art.
More GIO Examples : • Students should be able to differentiate between hard woods and soft woods. • Students will comprehend principles of ethics in the work place. • Students should demonstrate a critical understanding of the historical and contemporary methods of experimental psychology. • Students should be able to apply basic principles of human metabolism. • Students should develop an understanding of important concepts and methods in the field of literary criticism. • Students will learn how to use basic chemical concepts in a laboratory experiment. • Upon completion of this course, students will recognize how cardiac abnormalities manifest clinically as disease processes .
Program Goals General Instructional Objectives Course Learning Outcomes
1. Go to Page 3 in handout. Complete the Rubric titled: Beginning at the Beginning 2. Discuss your responses.
Developing GIO’s: Steps and Exercises • Begin by brainstorming about what ideal students at the end of your course and based on your instruction should know, learn, be able to do, etc. 2. You should have a clear idea of how the course and the GIO’s will fit into a larger program. DISCUSS YOUR RESPONSES 3. Consult with colleagues for advice to avoid too much unnecessary repetition across courses.
Do Exercises on pages 6, 7 and 8 in handout. • Discuss your responses.
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT QATAR UNIVERSITY Developing Course Learning Outcomes and Course Syllabus Design (5) Developing Course Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) Dr. Amal BouZeineddine Associate Director Center for Teaching and Learning December 2007
Let’s start with your experience. Go to page 2 in handout and do Reflection, Exercise 1. Share your responses. Go to page 3, do exercise 2, share your responses.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s): What are they? Course-level SLO’s are written statements of what students are expected to learn and perform in a course. They serve as means for: • articulating what we want students to know and be able to do as a result of their learning experiences in a course, and 2) designing assessment tools in order to know whether or not the outcomes have been realized. We all have goals in mind for what we want our students to know and be able to do as a result of a semester spent with us, so this process is simply about writing them down and making them clear to students.
SLO’s: why do we need them at the course level? They: • Make course learning expectations transparent; • Increase students’ awareness of and reflection on their own learning; • Help students understand where they are supposed to be headed or what they are aiming for as learners; • Help establish a common language among faculty, students and other stakeholders for describing and assessing course content; • Provide advisors with a useful tool for helping advisees make decisions about course registration; • Help faculty self-assess/reflect on practice; • Define potential evidence bases for course revision and design; and • May satisfy important accreditation requirements by external evaluators.
How Do We Articulate SLO’s? • In order to articulate learning outcomes, you may find it helpful to categorize the kinds of performances and products you expect from students in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude. • Consider what you want students to be able to do as a result of their learning experiences in your course. Write them down as your first draft. • You may want to refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Writing SLO’s Consider a taxonomy of knowledge such as Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom (1956) defined three different domains of knowledge: • Cognitive domain (thinking, knowledge): student cognitive behavior is categorized into six levels ranging from simple (knowledge) to more complex behaviors (evaluation) • Affective domain (feeling, attitudes): this domain ranges from receiving going up to internalizing. • Psychomotor domain (doing, skills): this taxonomy ranges from the simple act of perception to the highest level of behavior, organization.
Exercise 2 Examine the following statements: Which in your judgment are acceptable SLO’s? Why? • “By the end of the course, I will be able to demonstrate to students how to set up lab equipment.” • “By the end of the course, students will be able to set up laboratory equipment based on specified tasks and purposes” Student focused versus Teacher focused
Exercise 1, Cont’d • By the end of the semester, the course will instill an understanding of the scientific method.” By the end of the semester, students will be able to analyze what constitutes valid and invalid conclusions Focused on the process versus focused on the Outcome.
Exercise 1 Cont’d • Students will write a lesson plan at the end of each chapter. • Students will design different lesson plans in relation to a variety of instructional models such as inquiry model, cooperative learning, lecturing etc. Activity based versus outcomes based
HANDOUT: Exercise 1 • Let’s do exercise 3, on Page 10.
Writing SLO’s: tips How many learning outcomes in a course should we develop? • You may want to develop as many outcomes as needed in order to clearly indicate to the students what they will gain from the course. • When writing your course SLO’s, you may want to consider the following: + Each major topic in the course should have one to three learning outcomes. + Each 45-hour or three-credit course should have between five and 12 learning outcomes.
Writing SLO’s: More Tips • Check whether your students’ intended performance is observable. • Check whether you can assess/measure your students’ observable performance. • Align course learning outcomes with the mission and GIO’s of your program. • Indicate the type and level of knowledge, attitude and skills which are expected of students upon completion of the course. • Make sure each statement has one action verb. Do not include more than one expectation in one statement because the required assessment methods may differ. • Focus on the learning result (i.e. product or performance) that the student will exhibit and not the learning process or your instruction. • Write learning outcomes which can be measured by more than one assessment method.
Writing SLO’s: Examples 1.Bio 100/101 General Instructional Objective/Goal: • Students will be able tounderstand how the biological sciences explain the natural world. Specific Learning Outcome: Students will: • Design an experiment, based on a reasonable scientific hypothesis, to demonstrate how an environmental factor affects a living organism 2. Choose 2 biological concepts from thefollowing list and explain how they are related: ecology, cell function, evolution, genetics.
Writing SLO’s: Examples 2. English 110 General Instructional Objective/Goal: • Students will understand how major works of literature explore the human condition and examine human values. Specific Learning Outcome: Students will be able to: • Identify the characteristics inherent in literature, such as emotional, intellectual and aesthetic design, on problems of the human condition. • Relate the characteristics of literature to larger cultural and human values.
Writing SLO’s: Examples 2. Course Learning Outcomes (Educ. 245) You should be able to: • describe the cognitive, social, physical, emotional and language development of students in the elementary school; • demonstrate (in writing and actual teaching) how to implement effectively major instructional methods, approaches and techniques in teaching the language arts in the elementary school; • plan lessons based on the language arts components under student-centered classes in the elementary school; • Reflect on your teaching practices; • assess your peers’ micro teaching practices; • develop your philosophy of teaching the language arts in the elementary school, supported with evidence.
Writing SLO’s: More Examples At the end of this course, students will be able to: • Use change theory to develop family-centered care within the context of nursing practice. • Design improved bias circuits using negative feedback. • Demonstrate the safe use of welding equipment. • In an anatomy module, students will be able to describe the muscle insertion points in theFemur. • In a public health module, students will able to describe the effect Chadwick had upon various law reforms. • In a community care module, students will be able to demonstrate the appropriate behavior when visiting a patient at home. • At the end of this course in Engineering Graphics you, the student will be able to draw a multi-view representation of a solid object using a computer-aided-design software. • In a clinical skills module, students will be able to demonstrate effectively basic ressuscitation techniques on a mannequin. • For Med three, students will be able to perform an appropriate medical examination under emergency room conditions. • For Med four, students will be able to collate all patient information for ward rounds.
Writing SLO’s A. Write SLO’s for the following GIO: • “Understands modern drama” Share and discuss your responses. B. Go back to the GIO’s you developed earlier. Articulate SLO’s to these GIO’s. Go to page 11. Do Exercises 4, Checklist, to verify the accuracy of these SLO’s. Share and discuss your responses.
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT QATAR UNIVERSITY Developing Course Learning Outcomes and Course Syllabus Design (6)_ Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes at the Course Level Dr. Amal BouZeineddine Associate Director Center for Teaching and Learning December 2007