Writing Learning Outcomes Tip #3: Writing the Learning Outcome

By Ryan Smith, Director of University Assessment Services, Illinois State University

Writing Learning Outcomes Tip #1 covered the questions you should ask yourself before writing an outcome. Writing Learning Outcomes Tip #2 addressed the selection of a verb. This blog will address three types of frameworks for writing the outcome. Before writing a learning outcome, it is highly recommended that the steps in Tips 1 and 2 are addressed. Continue reading

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Writing Learning Outcomes Tip #1: Selecting a Learning Domain

By Ryan Smith, Director of University Assessment Services, Illinois State University

It is important to clarify what you want to know before writing learning outcomes. This blog post will address three essential questions to ask yourself beforehand.

Three Learning Domains

A domain is a classification system. In learning theory, there are generally three domains:

  1. Cognitive – mental and intellectual skills.
  2. Affective – emotive and values.
  3. Psychomotor – physical skills.*
*See http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html for more information.

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Writing Learning Outcomes Tip #2: Selecting a Verb

By Ryan Smith, Director of University Assessment Services, Illinois State University

Writing Learning Outcomes Tips #1 covered the questions you should ask yourself before writing an outcome. This blog post will address the selection of a verb.

Why the Verb in a Learning Outcome is Important

The action verb simply describes what students will learn in the activity or assignment. The verb does not:

  • Describe what students possess. This is different from what students do. A learning outcome along the lines of “students will be knowledgeable of research methods” tells us nothing about what students do. We have no idea students are knowledgeable of anything until 1) they demonstrate it and 2) we assess it. Avoid verbs like “understand” or “aware.”
  • What students will do after they graduate. We want students to value lifelong learning or posses the ability to discuss important topics after they graduate. The problem is that we have no control or responsibility for student learning once they graduate college.
  • Verbs describe what students do, not what we teach. For example, “students will be introduced to…” assesses what we do as instructors, not what students do when they learn. Learning outcomes should assess learning, not pedagogy.

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Using Professional Competencies to Assess Learning in Student Affairs Graduate Programs

By Dr. Phyllis McCluskey-Titus, Associate Professor, Department of   Educational Administration and Foundations; Ramo Stott, Residential Life Coordinator, Louisiana State University; Catherine Poffenbarger, Office of the Provost, Illinois State University; Kaitlin Ballard, Residence Hall Director, Illinois Wesleyan University

Originally published in Progressive Measures, Fall 2014, Volume 10, Issue 1. 

The purpose of this research project was to develop and pilot a process to assess learning in student affairs graduate programs.  Using the ACPA/NASPA Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners (2010), our research team created an assessment instrument to identify levels of competency reported by students entering a graduate program in student affairs, midway through the  program, and at the end of their program.  This research was made possible thanks to a grant provided by the NASPA Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community.  This article introduces our student affairs graduate program and the professional competencies, briefly reviews previous research, explains the assessment instrument and process, discusses findings, and shares our plans for continuing this research on other campuses.  This study contributes to the existing research on graduate students’ learning and provides evidence to support curriculum revision and enhancement of other learning experiences that student affairs master’s degree students need for success in professional practice, using the ACPA/NASPA competencies as a model. Continue reading

Music Student Teachers and the edTPA

By Dr. David Snyder, Professor, School of Music

Originally published in Progressive Measures, Fall 2014, Volume 10, Issue 1. 

The Educational Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) will be required of all student teachers in Illinois starting in the fall of 2015.  Several universities have already been piloting this new assessment, yielding some data that can help all of us better prepare our student teachers for when this assessment begins next year.  Continue reading

Testing our Standards — Testing our Teaching: Illinois State University’s General Education vs. the Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

By Elizabeth Doorn, Former Teaching Assistant, Department of HistoryDr. Patrick O’Sullivan, Director, Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology at California Polytechnic State University; and Dr. Stewart Winger, Associate Professor, Department of HistoryElizabeth Doorn graduated in 2013 and currently teaches social studies at El Quarto Año High School in Chicago.

Originally published in Progressive Measures, Spring 2014, Volume 9, Issue 2. 

The purpose of a liberal arts education is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to become active citizens and more fully realized human beings.  Having been exposed to richer worlds of thought, liberally educated students should better understand their place in the world and should be better empowered to shape that world.  The student of music will be familiar with the general theory of relativity, enhancing both the understanding of music and of life.  Continue reading

An Overview of the Spring 2014 Student Health Services Patient Satisfaction Survey Results

By Laura Frey, Administrative Clerk, Student Health Services

Originally published in Progressive Measures, Spring 2014, Volume 9, Issue 2. 

Student Health Services (SHS) has a full staff of providers including licensed/board certified physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrist, and physician assistants along with nurses, radiology, lab, and pharmacy staff.  Last year, the clinic provided medical services to over 15,000 patients.  To assess patient satisfaction with our services, surveys are conducted at least once a semester.  These satisfaction surveys are used to address any issues and assess patient perceptions regarding the quality of care provided. Continue reading