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Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

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1.

These are statements of what a learner is expected to be able to DO, as a result of a learning activity. This distinguishes an approach based on Learning Outcomes from one that uses more intangible ideas related to educational aims and objectives.

2.

The statements should describe the results of the learning rather than the learning process itself, i.e. what is learnt rather than what is taught. The outcomes must be assessable.

1.

The key features of a clear learning outcome are:

 

-

an action verb (e.g. understand,)

 

Understand

Recognise Be aware of

Use

 

Know

Perform

-

defined content (e.g. the range of services available in a library)

3.

Express learning outcomes in short and succinct statements.

 

4.

There is not a specific number of learning outcomes required for any one course or program. But if the learning outcomes are mounting up, ask yourself if you are really going to assess each and every one. On the other hand, only one learning outcome is insufficient to express the achievement covered in 30 hours of learning. As a guideline only, 5-8 learning outcomes per course is the average.

All learning outcomes must be achieved for the credit value of the course to be awarded.

5. Coherence of the group of outcomes is essential. They must all:

relate to each other and to the title of the unit;

avoid repetition and overlap.

For example, if the course title is "The Industrial Revolution" you cannot include learning outcomes relating to essay writing, oral presentations, or grammar, spelling and punctuation.

When writing learning outcomes for a number of courses for a large program make sure the learning outcomes are not repeated in other courses that can be achieved by the same learner.

6. Avoid including more than one assessable component in any one learning outcome. This leads to ‘compound’ learning outcomes and it can be difficult to write assessment criteria which cover the different parts.

 

How to Write Learning Outcomes

 

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1.

Think of what you expect students to be able to do/to know before reading your material

2.

Think of them after they have read it. What should they now be able to do as a result of reading it?

3.

Use active words. Try writing them and then ask a colleague or students whether they know what is expected of them.

Some Examples

   

A. On completion of this course you will be able to:

 

Use the spreadsheet facilities within the DATA module to compute a simple nearest neighbour test of complete spatial randomness

 

Do a kernel density estimation transformation of the point data into a continuous surface of densities.

Working individually, students will be able to assess in writing the impact of listed references.

on the

using all

Using the computer program create a realistic time-frame of

,

students will be able to examine the events relating to

 

and

Students will be able to individually calibrate [equipment] and then process a sample of demonstrate the use of

to

Without reference to a resource, students will be able to locate and recall the

pathway from a

diagram showing

and identify

 

within a

time-frame.

Using a graphics calculator, students will be able to calculate and orally present their findings to their tutorial group.

, evaluate the effectiveness of

B.

On completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

   

Learning Outcome 1: identify results required of work group and individuals.

Assessment Criteria for this Learning Outcome

1. Explain the relationships between the work of individuals, the work group and corporate goals.

2. Identify sources of information about the goals, and results required, of workgroups and individuals

3. Select relevant sources of information about goals and results required

4. Determine, clarify and record goals and expected results of workgroup and individuals

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5.

Seek out feedback about the adequacy of work performance from stakeholders, then consider and act on it.

Assessment Method

1. Project relevant to the participant's workplace where results required of individuals and workgroup are identified.

2. Project report submitted and presented to peer participants for discussion/evaluation

Learning Outcome 2: use work planning techniques to achieve results

Assessment Criteria for this Learning Outcome

1.

make work planning decisions after consultation and negotiation

2.

make, and modify, estimates of time and other resources needed to achieve required results

3.

assign, prioritise and schedule work

4.

produce work plans for individuals and work groups

5.

monitor individual and group workloads in relation to objectives

6.

monitor progress of work against plans and make necessary steering adjustments

7.

measure actual results against planned results

8.

propose, discuss and implement the work methods which ensure goals are met

9.

adjust workplace on the basis of experience and in response to changed conditions

C. Students will be able to describe and analyse mathematically the spatial features of objects,

environments and movements. In particular, they will be able to :

D. At the conclusion of this course/program, the students will have:

A basic understanding of the areas covered by the syllabus. This is assessed with the aid of a multiple- choice exam at the end of the semester.

Basic laboratory skills including technical skills, the ability to design and interpret the results of experiments, the ability to maintain a laboratory notebook and to write a scientific report. Students submit their laboratory notebook for assessment on a weekly basis. Students also write a detailed report on an experiment designed an carried out by themselves at home.

Basic skills in searching for, retrieving and interpreting articles published in scientific journals. Students are assessed on their ability to write a review of a scientific article of their own choice.

In the laboratory and in the tutorials students will develop generic skills such as the ability to work as part of a team and to solve practical problems. Students are assessed on the results of three group projects submitted at intervals throughout the semester.

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E. Students will have acquired:

discipline-based writing skills, American Psychological Association-style conventions and statistical inference and interpretation skills (through assimilation of results of research papers, linking results to hypotheses, drawing valid conclusions in order to interpret results and to plan research)

information-seeking skills, through the use of electronic resources available via the library and the over the Internet

communication skills, facilitated through small group discussions and brief presentations to the class

flexible learning capacity through WebCT and other on-line activities

Poorly written learning outcome statements often do not state what the students should be doing or how they will be assessed. For example,

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the connections between morality and law.

Students will demonstrate proficiency with conversational Japanese by the end of the semester.

Students will get an introduction to statistics and its practical application.

Relate the Learning Outcomes to the Assessment Criteria

1. Assessment criteria are statements, which match each learning outcome and specify learner achievements more precisely by indicating the standards by which a judgement can be made about the level of achievement

2. The assessment criteria attached to learning outcomes at different levels must reflect progression through the degree of complexity, learner autonomy and range of achievement appropriate to a given level (in other words, the standard).

There must be clear differentiation between the same unit title offered at different levels, and this must be reflected in the assessment criteria.

3. The language used in assessment criteria must be explicit, unambiguous and objective. Assessments have to be verifiable. Imagine yourself having to explain to two students why one of them gained a Credit and one a HD.

4. The following are examples of starter verbs and qualifiers for the different levels:

Learning

The learner will: Be able to present an opinion

Outcome

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Level

Pass Level

Credit Level

Distinction

High

Level

Distinction

Level

Assessment

Express a point of view

Order and

Explain

Evaluate

Criteria

present a

differing

differing views

 

selection of

opinions;

when

relevant

structure an

developing and

opinions

argument

presenting a

coherent

argument

Learning

The learner will: Be able to handle the opinions of others

Outcome

Level

Pass Level

Credit Level

Distinction

High

Level

Distinction

Level

Assessment

Listen to other people’s opinions without interruption

Respond

Respond

Evaluate

Criteria

positively to

constructively

similar,

other’s

to other’s

differing or

opinions

opinions

opposing views

Ensure comments are relevant to the nature of the discussion

Synthesise

 

different points

of view

Present a coherent argument relevant to the discussion

Remember, the assessment criteria must contain sufficient detail to make it transparent to any reader exactly what is expected of the learner to achieve at a particular level.

Verbs that you might think of using to specify different sorts of outcomes

 

For Knowledge

 

arrange

order

 

define

recognise

duplicate

label

recall

 

list

 

repeat

memorise

name

state

 

relate

reproduce

**

 

For Comprehension

 

classify

locate

describe

recognise

discuss

report

explain

restate

express

review

identify

select

indicate

translate

**

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For Application

 

apply

operate

choose

 

practice

 

demonstrate

schedule

dramatise

sketch

 

employ

 

solve

illustrate

use

interpret

 

write

 

**

 

For Analysis

 

analyse

differentiate

appraise

discriminate

   

calculate

distinguish

categorise

examine

 

compare

   

experiment

contrast

question

criticise

 

test

 

**

 

For Synthesis

 

arrange

formulate

assemble

 

manage

 

collect

organise

compose

plan

construct

 

prepare

create

propose

design

write

 

**

 

For Evaluation

 

appraise

judge

argue

predict

 

assess

rate

attach

score

choose

 

select

compare

support

estimate

 

evaluate

 

**