Strategies for Constructing Learning Outcomes

Are you a new or novice teacher who wants to learn more about constructing learning outcomes? Keep reading to find out more.

Implementing Taxonomies

Taxonomies of learning experiences and learner outcomes can be useful outlines for creating thorough and insightful lists of learner outcomes. Taxonomies classify and categorize the distinct types of learner learning. Taxonomies usually follow a structure that separates learning into three categories.

The first is the cognitive domain, which includes six levels, ranging from the recall or identification of facts, as the bottom level, up to more complex and abstract mental levels, followed by the highest order, which is labeled as evaluation.

The second domain is the affective domain and includes our feelings and attitudes. This domain includes how humans deal with things emotionally.

The last domain is the psychomotor domain, centered on the motor skills learners are expected to have acquired and learned at each stage of development.

Implementing Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives is one framework for organizing learning outcomes. These categories are organized in ascending order of complexity, where evaluation represents the highest level.

Six steps within Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used to create positive learning outcomes.

The first step is knowledge, which focuses on knowing and remembering essential facts, ideas, terms, or principles.

The second step is comprehension, which is centered on understanding specific learning ideas or curricular objectives.

The third step is application, centered on skills and knowledge applications to solve problems and issues.

The fourth step is analysis, centered on learning distinct structures and organizations of specific ideas or subjects, learning relationships, and distinct moving pieces in an organization.

The fifth step is synthesis, centered on creating and integrating new ideas into a solution, proposing an action plan, and forming a new classification scheme by utilizing critical thinking.

Bloom’s Taxonomy’s sixth and final step is evaluation, which rates the quality of knowledge.

It is essential to utilize concrete action words to describe and quantify specific observable and measurable actions when constructing learning outcomes.

Using Curriculum Maps

Once learning outcomes have been approved, utilizing a curriculum map can help view how the outcomes developed are being met in each class at an institution. A curriculum map is a simple way to visualize how an educator can list learning outcomes in the rows and the program classes in the columns to show which classes contribute to each learning outcome.

In every cell, letters can be placed to indicate how the class relates to the learning outcome. Utilize the letters “I,” “R,’ and “E” to find which classes in the program “introduce,” “reinforce,” or “emphasize” the corresponding learning outcomes. By putting the curriculum maps into place, educators can watch for unnecessary redundancies, inconsistencies, misalignments, weaknesses, and gaps in their learning outcomes to optimize them for learner success in their program review.

Measuring Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment of learner learning outcomes: Assessment is a systematic and on-going way of collecting and interpreting information to analyze its effectiveness. The educational assessment process can also provide insight into how well learning outcomes connect to the goals and outcomes developed to support its mission. An ideal learning outcomes assessment process exposes what an institution is doing and how well it is doing it. Assessments begin with the expression of learning outcomes and class learning. The crucial part to writing measurable outcomes involves describing the first three components: first analyzing the outcome, second, determining the method of assessment. The third component involves recognizing the criteria for success, as part of the learner-centered assessment cycle.

Program and Performance outcomes: program and performance outcomes explain a program’s goals rather than focusing on what learners should know, do, or value at the end of a given period. Program outcomes can be as simple as completing a task or activity. However, this is not as meaningful as possible and does not provide the educator with enough information for improvement. To accomplish the latter, educators should assess the effectiveness of what a given program has set out to accomplish. Performance outcomes have quantitative targets and specific timelines.

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