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Active Learning Initiative. Session 2 Learning Outcomes: articulating our expectations. Patrick A. Frantom, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry. Adapted from Driscoll, A. & Wood, S. (2007), Outcomes-based Assessment for Learner Centered Education. Ownership of the teaching process.

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Session 2 Learning Outcomes: articulating our expectations


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    1. Active Learning Initiative Session 2 Learning Outcomes: articulating our expectations Patrick A. Frantom, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry Adapted from Driscoll, A. & Wood, S. (2007), Outcomes-based Assessment for Learner Centered Education

    2. Ownership of the teaching process “The challenge for teachers is to ensure that there is alignment between teaching methods, assessment techniques, assessment criteria, and learning outcomes.” Clearly defining the learning outcomes. Selecting teaching and learning methods that are likely to ensure that the learning outcomes are achieved. Assessing the student learning outcomes and checking to see how well they match what was intended. Kennedy, Hyland, Ryan (2006) Writing and Using Learning Outcomes: A Practical Guide. Bologna Handbook C 3.4-1

    3. 1. What are learning outcomes? Academic currency Goals (Aims) vs. Outcomes (Expectations)

    4. Common concerns “inflexible and reductionist” “privileges lower-order thinking skills” Danger of an assessment-driven curriculum

    5. 2. How do you develop learning outcomes? Sometimes they are given to you Professional or Accreditation Groups University/College/Department level

    6. Otherwise you have ownership of the learning outcomes. What are the core concepts or abilities you want students to have at the conclusion of your class? How do you prioritize these concepts? Focus on surface or deep learning?

    7. 3. What makes a good learning outcome? Clear description of the concept or skill to be demonstrated. All learning outcomes have action verbs: -set the depth of knowledge -provide a mechanism for assessment

    8. Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Domains Knowledge – remember previously learned material; who, what, when, where Comprehension – translate knowledge into their own words Application – Apply knowledge to new situations

    9. Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Domains Analysis – organize and draw conclusions from constituent parts Evaluation – requires a judgment based on defensible criteria Synthesis – putting together parts to form a whole, create a new pattern or structure

    10. Additional Taxonomies Affective Domain Bloom (1973) - Receiving, Responding, Valuing, Organizing, Characterizing Psychomotor Domain Simpson, E.J. (1972) - Awareness, Set, Guided Response, Mechanism, Complex Overt Response, Adaption, Origination Dave, R.H. (1975) - Imitation, Manipulation, Precision, Articulation, Naturalization

    11. Taxonomies are linked to verbs that match desired cognitive levels Define vs. Distinguish Classify vs. Predict Interpret vs. Compose Various cognitive levels within a course Dependent on course level (100 vs. 400)

    12. Common pitfalls Multiple outcomes in a single statement: “Students will identify subatomic particles and explain the Atomic theory” “Students will construct a timeline of Reconstruction and critique various alternatives through a critical essay.” Unobservable verbs: “Students will understand basic human development theory” “Students will appreciate music from other cultures”

    13. Let’s go camping! • Create four learning outcomes for a friend who has never been camping. • Use at least three different cognitive levels. • Identify methods you would use to teach your friend each concept or skill. • Identify methods your friend could use to demonstrate their ability.

    14. 4. Including students in discussions of outcomes “For students assessment is the curriculum” Biggs, J. (2003) Aligning teaching and assessing to course objectives. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: New Trends and Innovations. University of Aveiro, 13-17 April 2003.

    15. 4. Including students in discussions of outcomes • Are the outcomes clear to students? • How will the students demonstrate competency? • Are lectures/assignments/exams consistent with outcomes?

    16. Refining our learning outcomes • Identify the cognitive level for learning outcomes in your syllabus. • Do you use active verbs that match the desired cognitive level? • What teaching methods/activities do you currently use for your outcomes? • How do you currently assess your outcomes?