Where are you now?

Once you have your student learning outcomes, you have to figure out whether or not your courses are teaching them to students. You might find that one outcome is met in every class and another is sadly neglected. Nevertheless, this is important information to learn- you do want to know if your students are learning what you think they are, don’t you? This is not a difficult process, but it will require cooperation from your colleagues in the program.

 

First: Identify the assignments and activities that demonstrate the achievement of each learning outcome

You could do this any number of ways:

  • Formally in department or committee meetings
  • Informally by chatting with colleagues
  • Semi-formally through email exchanges

Choose the option that works best for you.

Next: Create a program matrix

You are about to create a chart. Use MS Excel, Word, Lotus 1-2-3 or whatever you feel the most comfortable with, but you will need a big table. List all of your student learning outcomes down the left hand side, and all of your program’s courses across the top. Check off the courses in which each student learning outcome is met. You should end up with something that looks about like this generic model:

 

 

Course 1

Course 2

Course 3

Course 4

Course 5

Course 6

Other

Our student will embrace technology in the 21st C and use it for the forces of good

X

 

X

X

 

X

X

Our students will provide answers to questions

 

X

 

X

X

 

X

Our students will speak in hushed tones in libraries

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonparticipation

If there are folks that won’t play in the sandbox, then leave them out. Don’t try to force the issue. Just go around them. They will either come around and embrace assessment, or they will eventually retire. The truth of the matter is that this does happen, but it should not stop you in your tracks.

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