Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Rewriting your learning outcomes to include technology, part of Teaching with Technology.
- Whether you're a veteran instructor, who has written hundreds of learning outcomes, or a new instructor who hasn't written any, it's a good idea to consider if and how technology might change what learners are expected to do. Does this mean that the outcomes are going to list the technology students will use? Not necessarily. First, let's take a brief look at learning outcomes. If you're familiar with writing learning outcomes, then you know that they tell the learners what they're expected to know or do. Strong learning outcomes can also be measured in some way. If you want an in depth overview of writing learning outcomes, I provided an exercise file for you called Learning Outcomes.
You'll find it in the chapter one folder. It outlines the different parts of a learning outcome and helps you think about how to write them. Now let's look at outcomes as part of the bigger picture. Not only do they tell students what's expected, but they can help you design different aspects of your course. For example, those of you who practiced backward designs start with those outcomes. Basically, the desired results. Then you develop assessment strategies based on what you think is acceptable evidence for achieving each outcome. Last, you plan experiences that will help learners prepare to show they've achieved each outcome.
Let's stay focused on the outcomes though, and how technology might affect what students are expected to do. Depending on which model you prefer, learning outcomes can be put into different categories that answer basic questions, such as, what type of learning will students do? And, to what level of mastery will they do it? Answering the what question, some of you may be familiar with the work by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues. They broke outcomes into three domains: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. Or, knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
When considering using technology for these categories, you might imagine asking students to submit an essay, infographic, or ePortfolio to represent what they know. You might envision students recording video of themselves as they perform skills, like lab experiments or monologues, for peer or instructor review. When it comes to sharing their attitudes, perhaps you see them writing reflections using blogs or online journals. Bloom and his colleagues also looked at the levels of mastery, creating a range from low levels, such as remembering facts, to high levels, such as evaluating information or creating new ways of viewing information.
Others have since revised that model. Many times outcomes don't clearly reflect the level of mastery students should reach. However, as you consider using technology in your teaching, it may be possible to ask students to reach higher levels than they have in past classes. For example, if you ask students to create a concept map to supplement an essay, they have a chance to show you how they see relationships between course concepts. Here are some key factors to keep in mind. Strong learning outcomes define learning expectations clearly, use action verbs, focus on what students will do, define the required level of performance, and can be measured.
For an entire class, use overarching outcomes to paint the big picture. For a module unit or assignment, use supporting outcomes that represent lower level tasks or skills. As you start planning how technology fits within the teaching and learning goals and activities, you should think about how it might change the outcomes themselves. For example, as you'll see in another movie about applying universal design for learning principles, outcomes should support multiple ways for students to show their competencies. Again, technology can enable you to do this.
Well, maybe technology plus a good rubric. Before you review another movie, take a minute to review the learning outcomes for one of your classes. Do your outcomes clearly define what students are expected to know or do? Do your outcomes define the required level of performance? And, can technology enable students to achieve learning outcomes in a different way than before?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online