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Lesson 2: Learning Outcomes

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Chesire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. His response was a question: "Where do you want to go?" "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter." --Lewis Carroll, in Alice in Wonderland.

  1. Outcomes are what we want students to be able to know, value, and do at the end of a course. They are the end result of instruction, not the process itself.
  2. Learning outcomes focus on the learners' needs, not the teachers. In other words, when considering outcomes, think about why the students are taking the course and what they need to learn from the course.
  3. Outcomes can be content and non-content related. Learning to work as a team member might be an important non-content related outcome.
  4. Outcomes should account for different abilities, interests and expectations.
  5. Outcomes should be developed at the different levels of thinking (Bloom's taxonomy) and for the three following domains of learning.
    1. Cognitive - Cognitive outcomes are related to knowledge.
    2. Affective - Affective outcomes are related to attitudes.
    3. Psychomotor - Psychomotor outcomes are related to skills.
  6. When developing outcomes, consider the following questions:
    1. What knowledge, skills, and attitudes do graduates need to live and work to their fullest?
    2. What will they need to know to succeed on a final exam in this course?
    3. What will the student be expected to do upon graduation as a result of taking this course?
  7. Good student learning outcomes should not discourage creativity on the part of the teacher or the learner. Nor should they take away the need for the teacher to communicate the "challenge" of studying and learning to her or his students. (Teaching Handbook, Office of Faculty and TA Development, University of Dearborn-MI).

Lessons: Index, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, References

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