As subject matter experts in their field, people from the teaching profession know almost intuitively what the most important things are the students must master.
In order to develop learning goals, faculty should answer the question, “What do I want my students to know or be able to do by the end of this course?”
Developing a set of learning goals for a course takes what faculty know but don’t always state and puts it into a short list of real concepts that can guide students and add clarity to teaching and learning.
The overall goal for teaching should be learning. When students know what they should be able to do by the end of a course it will be less of a challenge for them to meet that goal.
Clearly defined learning outcomes contribute to a structure that surrounds a course and can aid in selecting appropriate graded and under graded assessments, selecting relevant content for the course, and enhancing the assessment or grading practices.
- Remember that outcome do not place limits on what you can teach in a course. Instead, goals provide a map or signposts that tell students where the course is going.
- Learning outcomes can add to students’ sense of ownership in the learning process helping them feel like they are on the inside logic of the course instead of the outside.
- Learning outcomes can be useful communication tool. Faculty can describe their course to colleagues and students by beginning with their goals.
- Departments can gain a sense of curricular cohesiveness if multiple courses have learning goals.
They are the experts in this process. Begin by relying on what they know about the subject, what they know they can realistically teach in the course, and what their students can realistically learn.
As they begin developing learning goals think of concepts, topics, important skills, and vital areas of learning connected to your course.
Make a list and don’t worry about developing full goal statements. That will come later. The list they develop is perhaps the most important step in this exercise; it will form the basis of goals, assessments, and overall teaching and learning process.
Share your list with colleagues. Let them help you critique it. Keep returning to “what can you realistically teach and what can their students learn” as a way of editing the list to something that is manageable.
Their list should help you answer the question, “What do they want from their students to know or be able to do by the end of this course?”
Consider the following points as they develop learning outcomes:
- Don’t get trapped into thinking that they will only be able to teach to the goals .Their learning outcomes point out the high points and learners always need to know all of the supporting content,theory,data, different points of view,and relevant facts that support the high points.
- Keep the number of learning outcomes- manageable and realistic. The first time they go through this exercise opt for a shorter list knowing that you can edit it as needed. Five or six goals might be a good starting point.
Teaching outcome should be assessed by communicate effectively in the language of the target country and read appropriate vernacular material in their field. Can communicate in an oral presentation.