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  1. 1. Learning Goals and Alignment: What, Why, How Joshua Caulkins Department of Geosciences University of Rhode Island
  2. 2. Goals of this Webinar on Learning Goals By the end of this webinar, you will be able to… Give examples of an overarching course-level learning goal and a more specific topic-level or activity-level goal. Describe the difference between the cognitive levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy and why InTeGrate authors should know this difference. List at least two characteristics of well-designed learning goals and state why they are important. Defend why learning goals should align with assessments for a given course.
  3. 3. Learning Goals: What and WhyWhat is a “Learning Goal?” What do you want students to be able to do after completing your course? Therefore, LGs… Clarify what you want students to accomplish Effectively communicate expectations to students Help you select methods, materials and assignments that are appropriate Help guide development of assessments that show what students have learned Why do we use LGs? Why are they important? Align goals, materials, activities and assessments About 40 to 50% of the InTeGrate rubric relates to goals LGs should be measurable
  4. 4. Learning Goals: What and WhyWe will use the term “learning goals” today or LGs Other popular terms: Objectives or Outcomes. Let’s keep it simple: Stick with Learning Goals (or LGs) Recap: All goals should be measurable All goals (and teaching, really) should be student- centered All goals should align with one or more assessment elements
  5. 5. Learning Goals: What and WhyWhat is a “level” for a learning goal? How are course-level goals (also called “overarching goals”) different from unit-level or activity-level goals? Discuss So a course-level goal is still measurable but has a broader focus. Unit-level or activity-level goals will be more specific and will mention specific tasks or practices that students will master or least become proficient in. Introducing Bloom’s Taxonomy!
  6. 6. Bloom’s Taxonomy – Big Picture Three (3) Domains of learning: 1. Cognitive (Knowledge) Creating Evaluating Analyzing Applying Understanding Remembering 2. Affective (Feelings, Emotion) Attitude, Sense of Self Higher Cognitive Orders (HOCs) Lower Cognitive Orders (LOCs) 3. Psycho-motor (Skills) Manual or Physical Skills
  7. 7. Bloom’s Taxonomy: Action Verbs (adapted from a resource link on the participant site for this webinar)Remembering - List, Describe, Relate, Locate, Write, Find, State, Name, Identify, Label, Recall, Define, Recognize, Match, Reproduce, Memorize. Understanding - Explain, Interpret, Outline, Discuss, Distinguish, Predict, Restate, Translate, Compare, Describe, Relate, Generalize, Summarize. Applying - Solve, Show, Use, Illustrate, Construct, Complete, Examine, Classify, Choose, Interpret, Make, Apply, Produce, Translate, Calculate. Analyzing - Analyze, Distinguish, Examine, Compare, Contrast, Investigate, Identify, Explain, Deduce. Evaluating - Judge, Select, Choose, Decide, Justify, Debate, Verify, Argue, Recommend, Assess, Discuss, Rate, Prioritize, Determine, Critique, Evaluate, Criticize, Weigh, Value, Estimate, Defend. Creating - Create, Invent, Compose, Predict, Plan, Construct, Design, Propose, Devise, Formulate, Combine, Hypothesize, Synthesize, Forecast. Note: There is some overlap in the verbs, it depends on the level of the activity you are attempting to capture with the goal. Lower-OrderHigher- Order
  8. 8. How to write a good learning goal 1. What do you want students to know? What skills should they have when they leave your course? Write those down 2. Which active verbs from Bloom’s taxonomy are most appropriate? Should students “describe” or “collect and plot data” or “synthesize reports” or “devise a plan” or a mix of these? Add the appropriate verb(s) to the goal. 3. What level (course-level? topic-level?) is this goal being used for? Course, topic, unit and activities can (should) have their own goals. 4. Develop course content and iterate. Writing good
  9. 9. Let’s Practice: Examining Goals (Revised from “Goal Setting” workshop by T. Boyd and C. Manduca) Consider two versions of a goal about plate tectonics: Students must demonstrate an understanding of plate tectonics, the forces involved, and an appreciation of the physical relationships between the various components. Students will be able to describe in detail the physical manifestations of plate tectonics that we observe, the nature of, size, and role of each of the various forces involved in driving the plates, and will present examples of the physical relationships between the various components. What if this goal was the basis of an essay assessment? How might that assessment read?
  10. 10. Small Group Activity We have provided a number of examples for you to work with. Answer the following questions: 1. Is the goal student-centered (rather than teacher-centered)? 2. Is the goal concrete or is it vague and abstract? 3. What Bloom’s level could be assigned to this goal? (1- Remember, 2- Understand, 3-Apply, 4-Analyze, 5-Evaluate, 6- Create) 4. Is the goal course-level, unit-level, topic-level, or activity-level? 5. How might you make this goal more challenging? (Hint: think “verb”) 6. Could you design an activity/assignment/test question that would allow you to determine whether students have met the goal or not (does the goal have a “measurable outcome?”)? Explain. Go into your individual group space (linked from the
  11. 11. Discussion What are your reactions to the exercise? What themes are important? What questions do you have about the process of writing learning goals for your course and/or module?
  12. 12. Thank you! Any Questions?