Learning Outcomes: Now more important than ever!

Every course at PACE has established learning outcomes: a specific statement of what the student should know or be able to do at the end of the course.  As instructors, our daily content should tie to those outcomes (our assessments too, but that’s for another day); any given day should be aimed toward helping students progress to the course’s end goal. 

As we continue to work through remote learning, which for our full-time programs means our students both work with the instructor and by themselves on course content, it is important to look at how those two parts work together to achieve the day’s learning outcome. 

A learning outcome for any given part of a course should not be framed as “Students will have read Chapter 4”.  A learning outcome should be framed in terms of what a student can do at the end of the day, “Students will be able to define ….” Or “Students will be able to create…”    If you want to see more about developing those outcomes, take a look at our prior related blog: https://instructorlifeblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/aligning-assessments-with-learning-objectives/

With remote teaching, instructors should plan the day as sections aimed at the day’s end goal.  In the live class, one portion is covered.  When students are working independently, there should be instructions and directions on what other materials or activities the student does.  All of which drives the student to achieve the learning outcome.   

With our change in teaching delivery this year, I’ve taken to sharing those daily learning outcomes with the students, hoping it clarifies for them what they should be taking from each part of the day’s activities and work.  I’ve found it also helps the students (and to some extent, me) to remember that the day’s lesson doesn’t end when the camera is turned off.