Introduction to Student Learning Outcomes in the Major
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1 Introduction to Student Learning Outcomes in the Major Dr. Judy ShoemakerDirector, Assessment & Research StudiesDivision of Undergraduate EducationUC IrvineNovember 8, 2007
2 What are student learning outcomes? Statements that describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students are expected to achieve by the end of an educational program.Program could be a single event (workshop or lab exercise), a course, a major, general education, or the entire undergraduate experienceToday’s focus = the major
3 Student Learning Outcomes in the Major What do you want your students to know by the time they complete your major? (knowledge)What do you want your students to be able to do with what they know? (skills)What do you want your students to care about? (values, attitudes)
4 A DefinitionStudent learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge, skills, and attitudes or values that faculty expect students to achieve by the time they graduate.Knowledge: terms, concepts, theories, research methods, lab safety procedures, processesSkills: demonstration of competence or proficiency, being competent in a foreign language, writing effectively, doing research, carrying out a lab experiment, performing on stage, solving problemsAttitudes/values: appreciation, respect, value, ethics
5 Why are learning outcomes important? Sound pedagogical reasonsstarting point of the teaching, learning, and assessment cyclestudents’ learning improves when they know what is expectedpart of a shift in teaching, from topics to be covered, to what students will learncan guide teaching and learning activities
6 Other Reasons WASC expects Student learning outcomes are clearly stated at the course, program, and institutional levelStudent learning outcomes are shared with faculty, staff, students (made public)Faculty take collective responsibility for establishing, reviewing, assessing student learning outcomes, and using the results to improve teaching and learningResults from assessment are used for improvement of teaching and learning
7 Focusing on the Major Defines the undergraduate student experience Provides depth of study in an academic discipline (depth vs. breadth)Focuses on the cumulative effect of the curriculum as a wholeRepresents faculty interests, expertise, and teaching responsibilitiesFaculty-defined
8 Getting Started - Knowledge What should our students know by the time they graduate?What are the most important terms, concepts, theories, and principles they should know?What methods and procedures should they know?
9 Getting Started - Skills What should they be able to do with that knowledge?What types of skills should they demonstrate?What constitutes “effective writing” in the major?What performance skills or competencies should they demonstrate?What skills do they need to solve problems in the discipline?What types of research experiences should students have?
10 Getting Started – Attitudes & Values What should they value?What values or attitudes should they develop?What should they appreciate or respect?What ethical issues should they be able to address?
11 Examples Students who successfully complete this major will be able to ... Describe basic biological concepts and principles.Understand the major theoretical approaches for explaining economic phenomena.Use statistical packages to analyze sociological data and interpret results accurately.Adopt the professional code of ethics for pharmacy practice.Explain the importance of the scientific approach to understanding natural phenomena.
12 Student learning outcomes use action verbs that describe how students will demonstrate their learninganalyzedemonstrateillustrateparticipatespecifyapplydescribeinterpretperformsummarizeclassifydesignjudgepredictsupportcommunicatedistinguishjustifyproducetranslateconstructevaluatemodifyrecognizevolunteercreateexplainorderreviewwritedefineidentifyorganizesolve
13 Student learning outcomes should reflect various levels of cognitive processing Bloom’s Taxonomy Cognitive LevelDescription1. KnowledgeTo know specific facts, terms, concepts, theories, procedures2. ComprehensionTo understand, interpret, compare, contrast, explain3. ApplicationTo apply knowledge and understanding to new situations, to solve new problems4. AnalysisTo identify the organizational structure of something; to identify parts, relationships, organizing principles5. SynthesisTo create something new; to integrate ideas into a solution; to propose a plan of action; to formulate a new classification scheme.6. EvaluationTo judge the quality of something based on its adequacy, value, logic or use.
14 Examples Using Bloom’s Taxonomy Students can describe the major theoretical approaches of the discipline.Students can apply theoretical principles to solve real-world problems.Students can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the major theoretical approaches for understanding specific phenomena.Students can select the theoretical approach that is most applicable to a phenomenon and explain why they have selected that perspective.
15 Examples from Psychology Content knowledgeCritical knowledge of basic and applied aspects of the core social science areas within psychologyKnowledge of the design and analysis of psychological research and knowledge of the interpretation of psychology research findingsCritical thinkingAbility to review, interpret and analyze the literature in psychological scienceCommunicationAbility to clearly and effectively present ideas in speech and in writing that contribute to the dissemination of advances in research in psychological scienceFrom the University of Florida
16 More Examples Research Technology Global citizenship/Ethical behavior Students will demonstrate skills in designing and conducting research, analyzing data and interpreting results in the context of current theories in psychologyTechnologyStudents will demonstrate familiarity with computer technologies used in conducting psychological research and learning psychological principlesGlobal citizenship/Ethical behaviorStudents will interact effectively, sensitively, and ethically with people from diverse backgrounds and demonstrate understanding of the sociocultural contexts that influence individual differencesFrom Eastern Illinois University
17 Possible Categories of Outcomes Knowledge and understanding of important theories and concepts in the disciplineApplication of that knowledge and understandingCommunication skills, especially writingResearch and information literacy skillsValues, attitudes and ethics
18 Effective Learning Outcomes Focus on the learner, not the teacher – what the student learns not what topics will be coveredExplain how students can demonstrate mastery of the learning outcomesClear and understandable to studentsUse active verbs that describe specific student behaviorsCover various levels of cognitive processing
19 Let’s get started! Mission statements Program descriptions Courses Professional organizationsOther campusesGraduate school or career requirementsStudent work and surveysAlumni surveys
20 Break-Out Groups by Major Share information about your majorReview the status of learning outcomes on each campusReview other resource materials providedDiscuss commonalities and differences across campusesWork on writing student learning outcomesConsider next steps: group, home department, UCOP (sponsor more workshops?)
21 Room Assignments Biology – Moss Cove A Chemistry – Woods Cove B English – Woods Cove CPsychology – Moss Cove BTheatre/Drama – Woods Cove AWASC ALOs – Crescent Bay AStudent Learning Outcomes (general) – Pacific Ballroom A
22 Questions? Dr. Judy Shoemaker firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.due.uci.edu/ Click on “Assessment Resources”