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General Education as a Learning-Outcome-Based Program: Course Review and Revision Workshop Tuesday, September 21 Fitting the pieces together and making.

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Presentation on theme: "General Education as a Learning-Outcome-Based Program: Course Review and Revision Workshop Tuesday, September 21 Fitting the pieces together and making."— Presentation transcript:

1 General Education as a Learning-Outcome-Based Program: Course Review and Revision Workshop Tuesday, September 21 Fitting the pieces together and making connections

2 First Why is General Education important?

3 Role of the Undergraduate Major Has primary responsibility for developing the ideas and methodologies to communicate within a disciplinary community Suggests potential career paths.

4 General Education v. Major Major, minor, electives General Education

5 And the role of General Education? UW-L’s General (liberal) Education prepares students to live, work, and play as responsible global citizens in the context of a diverse and ever changing world.

6 Life after college Job or career Other aspects of life and living

7 Overview of Today

8 Timeline Learning outcome: what & why Using Learning outcomes to review courses

9 Brief Timeline FALL 2004 Departmental Review of GE courses – due December 1 (new date!!) Various ideas for a revised structure sent out to campus for feedback (tentative) Workshops and Mini-conference GEC map outcomes as they are addressed in current array of courses

10 Timeline continued Spring 2005 GEC use feedback to develop a draft of revised structure; disseminate and ask for feedback Conversation among GE instructors at January T & L conference More workshops as needed Departments assess one or two GE courses GEC begin official review of courses

11 End of AY 2004 -05 Revised General Education Program Structure sent to Faculty Senate for approval Initial set of courses for revised program reviewed and certified* GEC receives departmental assessment reports GE assessment “team” reports completed

12 Using Learning Outcomes to Guide Course Development, Review, and Revision

13 Rationale for Outcome Based GE program Focuses our attention on what we expect students to learn Direct link to assessment Can ensure and enhance accountability (institution and students)

14 A learning outcome based program can help students better articulate the goals of the program more readily reflect on their own progress (self-assessment) improve student learning

15 What is a learning outcome? Learning Outcomes are clearly stated expectations for what students should learn and be able to do by the end of a course/program of studies. Include an action verb and a statement of ability

16 Goals v. Learning outcomes GOAL: Student will have “knowledge of the development and interaction of human cultures” Learning Outcome: Students will be able to “describe how a person’s historical and cultural contexts influence perceptions of themselves and others”

17 How does the learning outcome help with: Assessment Learning activities

18 Rethinking our Thinking 1 A learning-outcome-based curriculum moves us from an overt focus on courses distributed across the academic spectrum to an overt focus on helping students develop specific competencies (learning outcomes) that are requisite for learning and living as responsible citizens “in diverse local, national and global societies”

19 Rethinking our Thinking 2 Outcome Based Programs moves us from a GE Curriculum that Is “Input” based Focuses on the academic spectrum

20 Rethinking our Thinking 3 In an O-B-C Begin with desired result Determine acceptable evidence Plan learning experiences and instruction (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998) Assessment is integral and a focus from the beginning

21 Learning Outcomes Learning Activities Assessment of Learning Always together - Joined at the hips

22 Understanding and identification of Learning Outcomes and Assessment of Learning precede development of Learning Activities

23 Relation Between Learning Outcomes and Learning Activities Learning activities are planned after identifying the learning outcomes are planned after identifying what will constitute evidence of student learning allow students to develop and practice knowledge and skills basic to the learning outcome provide evidence of student learning are inquiry-based and potentially engaging

24 Assessment of Learning Evidence of understanding Collection of evidence over time Formal and informal Learning activities are designed with evidence of learning in mind Forms of assessment are varied and many: may be observations, dialogs, quizzes, tests, projects, performance tasks, etc.

25 ASSESSMENT MEANS WE ALSO HAVE Evidence, Criteria & Standards

26 EVIDENCE of Student Learning What type of student work can provide evidence? Papers Specific answers on quizzes and exams Group projects Oral presentations An audiovisual project ETC—depends on course and SLO being assessed

27 CRITERIA Qualities desired in student work Professional judgment of instructor Guide student learning efforts Promote life-long learning Support instructor in making objective evaluations

28 Examples of Criteria In MATH Accuracy Depth of understanding Complexity Appropriateness In CULTURAL DIVERSITY Range of cultures Communication Reflectivity and integration

29 STANDARDS Describe different levels of criteria (performance) Describe specific indications of criteria Promote understanding of criteria Support faculty in making objective evaluations

30 Examples of Standards Satisfactory Contains few errors and those errors do not significantly undermine the quality of the (project, paper, presentation, problem, etc.) Consistently views sophisticated and significant dilemmas and issues (problems) with a broad focus and from multiple perspectives Unsatisfactory One or more errors that significantly undermine the quality of the work Views issues and dilemmas (problems) largely in simple terms; usually does so with limited focus and minimal perspectives

31 Core Outcomes What is it that students should remember “forever” from this course? What is applicable across situations and/or disciplines? What has value beyond the classroom and is important for developing responsible and educated global citizens? What provides a structure or context or framework to connect the dots or “details”

32 Enduring understanding Important to Know and do Worth being familiar with

33 Departmental Review Process ( OF COURSES AS THEY EXIST NOW) 1. Have a discussion with colleagues: what outcomes are we trying to achieve in XYZ course? 2. Which ones are THE MOST IMPORTANT—the ones we want students to remember (or use) forever (those Core Outcomes) 3. What are the learning activities we NOW use to address these outcomes 4. What do we do NOW for assessing whether or not students have achieved these outcomes

34 Why Departmental Review Now? Provide invaluable information to GEC about current learning expectations Are there clusters of outcomes being addressed—and where Are there outcomes not being addressed anywhere Inform GEC on program “needs” and effective “revisions,” if necessary Help with assessment plan

35 Course Review is NOT designed to: Officially evaluate current courses Identify courses that “are problematic” Take resources away from any program or department

36 Departmental Review of Courses (one more time) Three (and a half) Basic Steps Departmental discussions about learning outcomes addressed in each course Determination of the core (most important) outcomes Identify the learning activities used to achieve these outcomes Identify how assess student learning of outcome

37 Strategy for thinking about outcomes? ACHIEVING THE OUTCOMES: WHAT SHOULD A STUDENT KNOW AND BE ABLE TO DO? Use the context of the course content and discipline to think about what the outcome means; what a student should know and be able to do ?

38 EXAMPLE from UWL 100 Students should be able to: recognize varying perspectives and beliefs across several topics, including the “right to an education” and “citizenship.” articulate a basic explanation as to the purpose of “a liberal arts education” and the value or importance of this education to their current and future lives. identify how their perceptions may be different from others on the topics discussed in class identify some of the possible factors (socio-economic status, race or ethnicity, hometown size, gender, etc.) that have influenced their ideas about the “right to an education” and why and how their ideas may differ from others.

39 WORK TIME and more questions?

40 Thank You! Reference Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

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