SECTION THREE: ADVICE REGARDING PROCESS AND NEXT STEPS
The AKA recognizes that the identification of learning outcomes is simply the first step in a complex process. It is critical that departments continuously assess the degree to which students are able to attain identified learning outcomes with adjustments to both learning outcomes and curricular offerings as needed. A number of suggestions regarding process and assessment are provided below.
Some Suggestions Regarding the Process for Establishing Learning Outcomes for an Academic Department
The manner in which learning outcomes are developed, used and made available to faculty and students will vary across institutions. However, the following sample process is provided for illustrative purposes.
- Faculty review and provide feedback regarding AKA recommended learning outcomes.
- Additional department-specific learning outcomes can be added if desirable.
- Existing course syllabi are reviewed for content and consistency with the learning outcomes.
- Matrices mapping learning outcomes against courses and other learning experiences are developed.
- The final learning outcomes are added to course syllabi and instructors are made aware of need to evaluate attainment of these learning outcomes.
- Proposed learning outcomes are shared for comment and possible revision with various constituencies including faculty, students, advisors, etc…
- Learning outcomes are re-evaluated and updated by the department on a regular basis as needed.
The Assessment of Learning Outcomes
It is important to assess and document the extent to which each student has demonstrated competence in the required areas of performance. Information about student progress on learning outcomes can be obtained from the following sources. The specific assessment process employed will vary from institution to institution.
- Grades attained by students in required coursework.
- Evaluation provided by practicum and/or internship supervisors.
- Student documentation of the learning outcomes in portfolios and other written materials.
- Faculty ratings of oral and/or poster presentations.
- Student self-ratings of competency obtained by anonymous survey on graduation.