Introductory “Astro 101”Learning Outcomes4This course covers Chapters1. Mercury2. Venus…8. Neptune9. other objects10. Formation of the Solar System deduce from patterns in theproperties of the planets, moons,asteroids and other bodies that theSolar System had single formationevent. reconstruct the formation andevolution of various bodies in theSolar System by interpreting thepresence (and their appearance)or absence of craters provide notable examples of howcomets influenced history, art andscienceCourse with Learning OutcomesTraditional Course Syllabus
Learning outcomesLearning Outcomes5 completes the sentence, “By this end of thislesson/unit/course, you will be able to…” begins with an action verb (more below…) tells the students what they must do to demonstratethey “understand” the concept deduce from patterns in theproperties of the planets, moons,asteroids and other bodies that theSolar System had single formationevent.
Learning outcomes are valuable to…Learning Outcomes6 the students big picture of the next part of the course reveals what the instructor is looking for (no guessingwhat “understand” means.) allows student to check that s/he has mastered theconcept (especially when studying later)
What is the Value of Course-SpecificLearning Outcomes?Learning Outcomes7Simon & Taylor  asked students to complete thissentence:For me, the use of learning goals in this course is…They received 597 responses from students in computerscience and microbiology. Responses were put intocategories that emerged from the responses, themselves.
Learning outcomes are valuable to…Learning Outcomes9 the students big picture of the next part of the course reveals what the instructor is looking for (no guessingwhat “understand” means.) allows student to check that s/he has mastered theconcept (especially when studying later) the instructor crystallizes what prof actually cares about helped prof choose clicker questions for class write the final exam
…choose clicker questions for classLearning Outcomes10 ClassAction http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/
…write the final examLearning Outcomes11(10 marks) List 3 patterns of the Solar System as awhole. Then, outline in some detail the current model forthe formation of the Solar System. In particular, makesure you explain how the observed patterns andregularities are related to this theory of formation.
1. “Back-engineer” LOs from examsLearning Outcomes12Use last year’s (or several years’) final exam. For eachgood question, ask yourself What is this question assessing? What is the learningoutcome I want students to demonstrate to properlyanswer this question? Is that the outcome I want, or is it too low (or high)?When you have a list of LOs, Does it cover everything I want for this course? Have I over- or under-represented any concepts?
2. Draft LOs from course outlineLearning Outcomes13Work your way through the list of topics. For each topic,decide What do I want students to be able to do, todemonstrate they “get” this topic? Don’t worry about drafting many low-level LOs.When you revise, you’ll start grouping them intohigher-level LOs.(see ASTR 310 Learning Goals)
Topic-level and Course-level LOsLearning Outcomes14You likely have some “big picture” goals for your coursethat can’t be assessed by a single exam question“gain a quantitative perspective on the scale, age anddiversity of our Solar System”“develop evidence-based arguments to defend a position”When you have a list of topic-level LOs, sync them withyour course-level goals (see ASTR 310 Learning Goals)
Share your LOs with your studentsLearning Outcomes15 After you’ve gone to the trouble of creating learningoutcomes, share them with your students (good) publish them as a document along side your syllabus (better) include relevant learning goals in your lecture slidesat the beginning of each topic Be wary of reading them aloud: the students may not yethave the knowledge to appreciate the LOs. The LOs willbe there when they study. Don’t worry about “spoon-feeding” them – so what ifstudents do exactly what you feel demonstratesunderstanding?
Deciding on the level of a LOLearning Outcomes16Writing learning outcomes is hard because you have to recognize declare (admit)what you want your students to be capable of doing.A good start is picking the verb describing the actionthe students will perform to demonstrate their masteryof the concept:
Bloom’s Taxonomy [2,3]Learning Outcomes17RememberUnderstandApplyAnalyzeEvaluateCreatethink critically about and defend a positiontransform or combine ideas to createsomething newbreak down concepts into partsapply comprehension to unfamiliar situationsdemonstrate understanding of ideas andconceptsremember and recall factual information
Bloom’s Taxonomy [2,3]Learning Outcomes18RememberUnderstandApplyAnalyzeEvaluateCreatehigher order thinkinglower order thinking
Driver’s Ed 101: How to Drive in CAThe whiteboards on the tables are numbered. Yourgroup will concentrate on the DMV Test Questionmatching your board’s number.Task: Write a learning outcomethat your group’s question assesses.(If necessary, refer to Wieman handout)Learning Outcomes20
ReferencesLearning Outcomes221. Simon, B., & Taylor, J. (2009). What is the Value of Course-Specific Learning Goals? Journalof College Science Teaching, 39, 2, 52-57. PDF available atwww.cwsei.ubc.ca/SEI_research/files/LifeSci/Simon_Taylor_ValueOfCourseSpecificLG.pdf2. Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain.New York: David McKay Co Inc.Adapted from Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning.Teaching, and assessing: A revision of blooms taxonomy of educational objectives.Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/RevisedBlooms1.html3. Excerpt from Wieman, C. (2007). Slides from the Wieman Learning Goals Workshop.www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/learn_goals.htm4. California DMV Sample Class C Written Test 5www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/clc6written.htm
Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain(Levels of Learning)Learning OutcomesCenter for Teaching Development231. Factual Knowledge: remember and recall factual knowledgedefine, list, state, label, name, describe2. Comprehension: demonstrate understanding of ideas, conceptsdescribe, explain, summarize, interpret, illustrate3. Application: apply comprehension to unfamiliar situationsapply, demonstrate, use, compute, solve, predict, construct, modify4. Analysis: break down concepts into partscompare, contrast, categorize, distinguish, identify, infer5. Evaluation: think critically about and defend a positionjudge, appraise, recommend, justify, defend, criticize, evaluate6. Synthesis: transform and combine ideas to create something newdevelop, create, propose, formulate, design, inventCarl Wieman (2007) www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/learn_goals.htm
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