Why do we need to specify them?
What are Learning Outcomes:
Learning outcomes are statements of a learning achievement and are expressed in terms of what the learner is expected to know, understand and be able to do on completion of the award or module. They may also include attitudes, behaviours, values and ethics. Learning outcomes are different from aims, in that they are concerned with the achievements of the learner, rather than the overall intentions of the tutor. Teaching and learning methods and assessment processes are aligned directly with the learning outcomes.
The most obvious benefits for specifying Learning Outcomes include: To provide specific, clear information for students on what is expected of them - students may find it helpful if learning outcomes are discussed at the start and end of a course / module Serving as a guide for assisting students in choosing optional and elective courses / modules
However, and more importantly for the stage at which we find ourselves at the moment, the benefits also include: a means to ensure that assessment methods are appropriate to outcomes a means to ensure that teaching and learning methods are appropriate to outcomes a means to facilitate feedback to students a method of reflection for curriculum designers on what they want to achieve a guide for matching content to level
In addition, the benefits extend to provide:
clarification for external examiners, external assessors a basis from which to guide the process of credit transfer and accreditation of prior learning
What sort of Learning Outcomes should be specified and how are they categorised: The specification should contain only those outcomes which have value and are measurable, i.e. those where student achievement is recognised either by formal assessment or by judgement. Normally learning outcomes are grouped into six categories, within two broad bands of subject content and transferable skills: 1. Subject...