CTLT Dialogues

The Blog of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology

Desired Results

Posted by ctlt on May 22, 2009

The topic for Session A of this year’s TNT Institute was learning outcomes and planning for courses and curricula, based on a presentation by Marlene Rosenbaum, Associate Dean of University College. Dr. Rosenbaum’s presentation was titled “Achieving Desired Results.”

Marlene discussed the key terms and ideas of learning outcomes assessment in the context of FDU’s identification of 10 Learning Outcomes for its academic programs, and the role of colleges, schools and departments in preparing students to achieve those outcomes. The University is likely to focus increasing attention on learning outcome assessment (LOA) as accrediting agencies and other bodies become increasingly insistent that the University prepare to identify and document how students progress through its academic programs.

A central conceptual model for LOA is Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy, specifically in the cognitive domain of that taxonomy (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_Taxonomy ). Bloom’s Taxonomy provides the basis for writing behavioral objectives, and then planning instructional resources and activities based on those objectives, to be followed by assessments that demonstrated when objectives have been achieved.

Following the Question and Answer session after Marlene’s presentation, participants worked in small groups to review prepared lesson materials from their Institute packets, and to complete a Desired Results planning form, based on the course development process Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe present in their useful book Understanding by Design. This task gave participants an opportunity to practice identifying the important ideas (or big questions) for the lessons they were working with, and to create behavioral learning objectives to help structure and align appropriate instructional activities and subsequent assessment tasks.

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