Resources for Writing Program Learning Outcomes

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1 Resources for Writing Program Learning Outcomes Supplementary Materials for Writing and Revising Learning Outcomes Workshop Presented Jointly by TLA and Student Affairs

2 LEVEL OF SPECIFICITY AND REACH Learning gets more specific

3 BLOOM S TAXONOMY: COGNITIVE DOMAIN Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.

4 BLOOM S COGNITIVE DOMAIN VERBS Knowledge recall previously learned material. Comprehension show a basic understanding of material. Application apply learning in new situations. Analysis logically differentiate between the content ans structure of material. Synthesis create new content and structures. Evaluation judge the value of material for a given purpose. Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: identify define apply analyze construct assess label describe demonstrate compare/contrast create critique recall explain determine differentiate design evaluation reproduce paraphrase prepare distinguish develop justify state provide example use investigate generate support Adapted from: Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.

5 BLOOM S EXTENDED LIST OF COGNITIVE ACTION VERBS Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis Synthesis Evaluation cite define describe identify indicate label list match memorize name outline recall recognize record relate arrange classify convert describe defend diagram discuss distinguish estimate explain extend generalize give examples infer locate apply change compute construct demonstrate discover dramatize employ illustrate interpret investigate manipulate modify operate practice analyze appraise break down calculate categorize compare contrast criticize debate determine diagram differentiate distinguish examine experiment assemble collect combine compile compose create design devise formulate generate manage modify organize perform plan appraise assess conclude decide discriminate evaluate grade judge justify measure rate revise score support value repeat reproduce select state underline outline paraphrase report restate review suggest summarize predict prepare produce schedule shop sketch solve translate use identify infer inspect inventory question relate propose rearrange reconstruct reorganize revise Adapted from: Allen, M. J. (2004). Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.

6 BLOOM S AFFECTIVE PYRAMIND Adapted from: Krathwohl, D., Bloom, B., & Masia, B. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Handbook II: Affective domain. New York: David McKay.

7 BLOOM S AFFECTIVE DOMAIN VERBS Knowledge recall previously learned material. Comprehension show a basic understanding of material. Application apply learning in new situations. Analysis logically differentiate between the content ans structure of material. Synthesis create new content and structures. Evaluation judge the value of material for a given purpose. Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: Sample Verbs: identify define apply analyze construct assess label describe demonstrate compare/contrast create critique recall explain determine differentiate design evaluation reproduce paraphrase prepare distinguish develop justify state provide example use investigate generate support Adapted from: Krathwohl, D., Bloom, B., & Masia, B. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Handbook II: Affective domain. New York: David McKay.

8 BLOOM S EXTENDED LIST OF AFFECTIVE ACTION VERBS RECEIVING RESPONDING VALUING ORGANIZATION CHARACTERIZATION BY A VALUE OR VALUE COMPLEX Accept Agree Adopt Anticipate Act Acknowledge Allow Aid Collaborate Administer Attend (to) Answer Care (for) Confer Advance Follow Ask Complete Consider Advocate Listen Assist Compliment Consult Aid Meet Attempt Contribute Coordinate Challenge Observe Choose Delay Design Change Receive Communicate Encourage Direct Commit (to) Comply Endorse Establish Counsel Conform Enforce Facilitate Criticize Cooperate Evaluate Follow through Debate Demonstrate Expedite Investigate Defend Describe Foster Judge Disagree Discuss Guide Lead Dispute Display Initiate Manage Empathize Exhibit Interact Modify Endeavor Follow Join Organize Enhance Give Justify Oversee Excuse Help Maintain Plan Forgive Identi fy Loca te Monitor Praise Preserve Propose Qualify Recommen d Revise Simplify Influence Motivate Negotiate Object Offer Participate (in) Query React Specify Submit Persevere Persist Practice Respect Synthesize Praise Present Seek Test Profess Read Share Vary Promote Relay Reply Report Study Subscribe Suggest Weigh Promulgate Question Reject Respond Select Support Thank Resolve Seek Try Uphold Serve Strive Solve Tolerate Volunteer (for)

9 ABCD METHOD FOR WRITING LEARNING OUTCOMES A Audience Who is the learner? B Behavior What is the measurable behavior? C Condition Under what circumstances should the learner be able to perform? D Degree At what level does the behavior need to be performed? Adapted from: R. Heinich, M. Molend, J. Russell, S. Maldino (2002). Instructional Media Technologies for Learning. (7 th ed). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, Inc.

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12 BEST PRACTICES IN WRITING LEARNING OUTCOMES Learning outcomes are student centered, they focus on the knowledge and skills that students can demonstrate (not on what instructors or curriculum aim to teach students). The learning described in department and program level outcomes should encompass the essential and significant knowledge and skills expected of major, generally near the completion of their course of study. Generally outcomes are short; usually one sentence in length that clearly states the behaviors that students should be able to demonstrate. Outcomes focus on the action that signifies student learning by using concrete, measurable verbs: Action Verbs. First drafts of outcomes often contain verbs like understand, be aware of or appreciate that are difficult to observe and measure. Actionable verbs such as interpret, compare, design, and evaluate are far more concrete and less complicated to observe and evaluate. The number of outcomes will vary from department to department, usually between 5 and 7, and generally not more than ten (per degree program). The focus should be on creating a manageable number of significant learning outcomes, it is better to work with six focused outcomes of significant learning than a dozen scattered ones. What are Characteristics of Good Student Learning Outcomes? ;

13 VERBS/PHRASES TO AVOID WHEN WRITING LEARNING OUTCOMES acknowledge appreciate be aware of believe capable of cite comprehend conscious of enjoy experience exposed to familiar with know/have knowledge of learn memorize show interest in understand htm?site=http%3a%2f%2fwww.naacls.org%2fdocs%2fannouncement%2fwriting-objectives.pdf

14 Writing Effective Learning Outcomes Adapted from Morris, S. & Milligan, S. Writing effective learning outcomes. Chicago: Loyola University. Learning outcomes describe what you want your students to be able to do. Effective learning outcomes are... Measurable Clear Developmental and at the right level for your students Observable Meaningful Transferable You can use this sentence structure to help you get started thinking about and writing learning outcomes. This can be a springboard for further developing your learning outcomes. By the end of the program, students will be able to + action verb + description. Outcome Writing Worksheet Activities: 1. Write down what you hope to teach your students during your program. Make sure that these ideas are realistic and attainable, as these serve as loose goals to help guide your outcome writing. Having 3 5 goals is ideal. My goals for this program: Once you have your goals written, think about what achieving these goals would look like. How would you be able to observe this in the actions or behaviors of your students? For example, if you set a goal of understanding the role of technology into your field, achieving this could look like students identifying appropriate technology for your field or their ability to demonstrate how this technology works. Select one of the goals you identified in exercise 1 and come up with 1 3 observable actions or behaviors. Goal Selected: Observable actions or behaviors if students achieve your selected goal

15 3. Now write outcomes for each of your goals, using the observable actions and behaviors you just identified. Creating outcomes that are observable and measurable will make it much easier to determine whether your students have met these outcomes at the end of the program. The following are things that are useful to keep in mind when writing outcomes: Remember that outcomes should be: 1. Clearly written and specific a. Does participants will learn to read clearly describe the behavior demonstrated at the end of the program? If someone outside your program asked what students specifically gain from participation in your program, what would you say? 2. Measurable and observable a. A well written outcome is measurable. This is why it is important to avoid verbs such as understand; a person can easily believe they understand something when they really don t. 3. Focused on the behavior of the person(s) receiving the education a. Program learning outcomes should be focused on the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and abilities gained by participants as a result of taking part in your program. It might help to start your outcomes with by the end of this program, students will be able to 4. Relevant to the goals of the program Think about using the sentence structure: By the end of the program, students will be able to + action verb + description. Outcome #1 Outcome #2 Outcome #3 Outcome #4 Outcome #5

should be written as a future tense verb. A list of good verbs for learning outcomes is provided in this packet.

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