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NMT Gen Ed Learning Objectives An ability to communicate well An ability to reason well An ability to evaluate and apply information Development of analytical and quantitative skills Competency of the fundamentals of mathematics and basic sciences An understanding of human societies and cultures A recognition of responsible vales and ethics
Assessment Steps 1.Develop learning outcomes. 2.Check for alignment between the curriculum and the outcomes. 3.Develop an assessment plan. 4.Collect assessment data. 5.Use assessment results to improve the program. 6.Routinely examine the assessment process.
Core Objectives of American Universities Written and Oral Communication Critical thinking Information literacy Some colleges have missions that distinguish them from other universities, and this should be reflected in their general education program.
Hierarchy of learning outcomes Mission Learning Goals Learning Outcomes
Defining Goals and Objectives Determining the program’s objectives is the first step of assessment. Faculty should decide how many goals and outcomes to have. Learning outcomes should be carefully articulated. Poorly defined objectives trivialize the program and its assessment. Learning outcomes should not be so narrow as to trivialize the process, nor so broad that they lose meaning.
Defining Goals and Objectives (cont.) Learning objectives focus on knowledge, skills, and values. Learning goals and outcomes answer the following three questions. When they finish general education program (or graduate), –What should students know? –What should students be able to do? –What kind of attitudes, values, or predispositions should students have? Program objectives focus on what students learn, not on what faculty cover in courses. Objectives should clarify if faculty expectations are for absolute or value-added attainment of knowledge; that is, if the goal is to attain certain level or to improve student’s ability. Learning objectives describe how students demonstrate that they have achieved program goals.
Examples of General Education Goals Civic responsibility, values, and ethics. Communication skills. Critical thinking skills and habits. Information literacy. Intellectual flexibility. Interpersonal and teamwork skills. Knowledge integration across the disciplines. Lifelong learning skills. Multicultural understanding. Problem solving skills. Quantitative skills.
Effective learning objectives should: Focus on what students learn, not on what the faculty teaches. Explain how students can demonstrate mastery of program goals. Comprehensively define each goal. Use active verbs that specify definite, observable behaviors. Identify the depth of expected processing of information. Distinguish between absolute and value-added expectations.
Guidelines for Writing Learning Objectives Appoint a small group to draft the goals and objectives. Eventually, all faculty should participate in the discussion. The program is “owned” by the faculty and they should decide what the program should accomplish and how to assess student progress. Faculty should invite students to review objectives and identify any sources of ambiguity. The final result should be a set of clear, useful learning objectives that guide curriculum planning, teaching, learning, and assessment. Learning objectives should be widely distributed – in the catalog, on the web, in department newsletters, and on syllabi. All major stakeholders, including regular and adjunct faculty, supervisors, student support personnel, and students should be aware of learning objectives and use then to guide course and curriculum planning and learning.
Depth of Learning Bloom’s taxonomy (1956) describes levels of information processing: oKnowledge – to know specific facts, terms, concepts, principles, or theories. oComprehension – to understand, interpret, compare and contrast, explain. oApplication – to apply knowledge to new situations, to solve problems. oAnalysis – to identify the organizational structure of something, to identify parts, relationships, and organizing principles. oSynthesis – to create something, to integrate ideas into a solution, to propose an action plan, to formulate a new classification scheme. oEvaluation – to judge the quality of something based on its adequacy, value, logic, or use. Another classification of information processing is by differentiating between deep and surface learning (Biggs, 1999). Deep learning makes knowledge personal and relevant to real-world applications, whereas surface learning encourages superficial study strategies that rely on memorization and that do not lead to deeper understanding.
Aligning Curricula with Learning Goals Able to communicate well Able to reason well Able to evaluate & apply info Develop analytical & quantitative skills Competent in fundamentals of Math & sciences Understand human societies and cultures Recognize responsible values and ethics Math 131III/P/D Math 132DP/DI/P/D PHYS 121, LIII/P/D PHYS 122, LDP/DI/P/D CHEM 121, LIII/P/D CHEM 122, LDP/DI/P/D Science 1III/P/D Science 2DP/DI/P/D ENGL 111I/P/DI ENGL 112I/P/DP ENGL 342DI HumanityPPI/P/DD? Social Science PPI/P/D I – Introduced, P – Practiced, D – Developed
Organization of GE Program Assessment Chairs of departments that teach GE courses should be responsible for organizing assessment of general degree learning outcomes in their GE courses. Results of the assessment of GE should be included in annual departmental assessment reports. Administration should encourage and reward departments and people who carry out assessment of GE. GDRA Committee should provide guidance to departments and coordinate overall GE assessment activity. Adjunct faculty should participate in the assessment.
Plan for GDRA Committee Activities 1.Evaluate learning goals of the general education program. Refine definitions, add, or remove some of them (Committee Departments Committee). 2.Define clear learning outcomes for each learning goal (Departments). 3.Determine the alignment of GE program with the GE learning goals (Committee). 4.Determine the alignment of the general education courses with the GE goals (Departments). 5.Develop an assessment plan/recommendations for some of the GE learning objectives (Committee Departments).
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