2009 Workshop

Developing Discipline-Specific Learning Outcomes

How do I know what students have learned in my class? How much have majors retained from course to course? Do students learn what I want them to learn? What do my colleagues and I hope that students gain from our major or minor? This workshop will help faculty being with what they want to know about their courses, and how they might enhance students’ learning experience by being more intentional about learning outcomes.

In this workshop we will spend two days developing learning outcomes for assignments,  courses and/or programs, will examine different methods of assessment, and will provide participants a chance to share their most difficult challenges and their most successful st practices. The schedule below is tentative; we will adjust the emphasis and times depending on participants’ interests.

Wednesday, June 3:  Focus on courses

9:00 – Introductions

9:15 – Determine our learning outcomes for this workshop

10:00 – Creating effective learning outcomes statements for a variety of goals including

  • understanding subject knowledge
  • development of  skills (analysis, evaluation, problem solving, effective communication, critical thinking)
  • development of attitudes and values (lifelong learning, appreciation of diverse cultures, civic engagement, disciplinary values)

11:00 – Choosing and managing formative classroom assessment methods

– lunch –

1:00 – work in disciplinary teams to discuss goals and measures for specific courses; develop ones for a course of your choosing

2:45 – present individual goals and measures developed during the day; share comments and suggestions

Thursday, June 4: Focus on connections

9:00 – discussion of departmental assessment practices – what are the barriers?

9:30 – methods for assessing student learning within a discipline; share approaches

10:30 – groups work on methods of integrating student outcomes in interdisciplinary or sequenced courses or on campus-wide goals (e.g. writing)

– lunch –

1:00 – explore data available from institutional studies and surveys. What jumps out at you? What makes you curious?

2:00 – in divisional or departmental groups, discuss your departments’ strategic plans.  Choose one strategic initiative that relates to student learning. How would you develop learning outcome statements? How would you assess student learning for those goals?

3:00 – share your discussions.  Assess your learning and the effectiveness of the workshop.


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