“Oh no sir. I said that I’d taught him to talk, I didn’t say that he’d learnt.”
Programme Specification Describes important features of a programme of study for the purposes of quality assurance and provision of information to students and employers. Likely to be written in relationship to subject benchmarks and requirements of professional bodies.
Teaching and learning are not synonymous: we can teach–and teach well–without having the students learn George Bodner (1986)
A working definition Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a specified period of learning.
Programme A period of study leading to an award, normally made up of a number of modules.
Module A separately assessed block of learning which earns credit when successfully completed.
Advantages of Learning Outcomes Increase transparency Facilitate comparability Enhance employability and mobility
An Outcomes-Based Approach can increase the flexibility of course provision. Widen Access Accredit Prior Learning Accredit Work-Based Learning Facilitate variety of progression routes
Module Design Traditional ApproachLearning Outcomes Write SyllabusWrite LO’s Plan TeachingSelect Assessment Select AssessmentPlan Teaching
Teacher and student perspectives regarding assessment
Learning outcomes should: - be written in the future tense; - identify important learning requirements; - be achievable and assessable; - use clear language easily understandable to students.
Writing Learning Outcomes A learning outcome should contain a STEM, such as ‘A successful student should be able to’, and an ACTION VERB, such as, identify, select, critically evaluate etc’.
Level Descriptors Generic statements describing the characteristics and context of the learning expected at each level, thus enabling learning outcomes, assessment criteria and credit to be assigned at the appropriate level.
The level of a module is indicative of the relative demand, complexity, depth of study and learner autonomy.
Learning outcomes should be set at the level of learning that students are at and must be achievable by students within the time available.
LEVELKNOWLEDGE BASE 1given factual and conceptual base with emphasis on the nature and terminology of the field of study 3comprehensive knowledge of discipline with areas of in-depth specialisation and an awareness of the provisional nature of knowledge.
As learning outcomes are statements of essential learning they indicate threshold or pass/fail standards. Grading students performance is a separate operation.
Assessment Learning outcomes describe minimum standard required to pass a module or course. Thus all required learning outcomes must be assessed and the assessment must facilitate grading of passes.
Assessment Action verbs that are not readily assessed such as, KNOW, ADOPT, APPRECIATE and UNDERSTAND should be avoided and replaced by verbs such as STATE, EXPLAIN, DESCRIBE, DISTINGUISH, DESIGN, DEMONSTRATE or CALCULATE.
Assessment Criteria Describe what the learner is required to do in order to demonstrate that a learning outcome has been achieved. Identify the evidence that will be used to show that the required standard has been met.
Describe the arrangement of the elements in the periodic table and identify and explain the various relationships that can be found between them.
Sketch the five ‘3d’ orbitals, predict how these will be split in compounds of various geometries, and hence explain the spectroscopic and magnetic properties of transition metal complexes.
Solve unfamiliar qualitative, quantitative and open-ended problems by developing a strategy and identifying relevant data.
Identify and articulate his/her own professional strengths weaknesses, preferences, aspirations and goals, and devise strategies to achieve these stated goals
Hierarchy of Contexts for Programme Design Level descriptors Learning outcomes Assessment criteria Assessment procedures Teaching strategies
Plan for developing a module based on learning outcomes
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein
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