21st Century witnessed drastic change in education. Educational phenomena took U turn from teacher centered class to student centered class. The word master becomes facilitator, and motivator in pedagogical universe. When we talk about Indian ancient education system, our educational system was student centered. Our ancient “Guru” was hard believer of each teach one philosophy. 20th century was more or less “teacher centered”, when teacher was not much concerned for students’ learning outcomes. Students’ were not active participants of the class. It was one sided teaching-learning process. When we talk on ‘learning outcomes’, we consider students’ as partner, we consider learners as active participants, we keep learners’ involvement on high level in the learning process, and moreover we consider all aspects of students’ learning i.e. age, learning styles, learning level, socio and economic background etc. We accept the existence of students in the classroom. When we talk on learning outcomes, we consider students’ all three learning domains: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective.
Learning outcomes are integration of cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of individual learner’s learning. Learning outcomes are total sum of learners’ level of comprehension, knowledge, application of knowledge in real world, better analysis, synthesis and evaluation of space and situation. Learning outcomes are evidence of students’ right attitude, feeling and adoption of different values in real life situation. Of course, better learning outcomes determine proper development of psychomotor domain (physical skills). Benjamin Bloom (1913 – 1999), firmly states that learning is a process and that the teacher should try to get the thought processes of the students to move up into the higher order stages of synthesis and evaluation.
Let us consider these definition and description of Learning Outcomes:-
Learning outcomes are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity. Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills or attitudes. (American Association of Law Libraries)
Learning outcomes are explicit statements of what we want our students to know, understand or be able to do as a result of completing our courses.(University of New South Wales, Australia)
Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning. (ECTS Users’ Guide, 2005)
Educator can ensure maximum learning outcomes if we answer following questions:-
What did educator decide to deliver during the preparation and planning?
What did educator deliver in the classroom and beyond the classroom?
What did learner achieve during the lesson?
Did teacher evaluate and assess learning outcome precisely and concretely?
Are our learning outcomes observable and measurable?
Teachers’ Role and Responsibility in Maximizing Learning Outcomes:-
If students are to learn desired outcomes in a reasonably effective manner, then the teacher’s fundamental task is to get students to engage in learning activities that are likely to result in their achieving those outcomes… what the student does in determining what is learned is more important than what the teacher does. Shuell, T. J. (1986), Cognitive conceptions of learning, Review of Educational Research, 56: 411 -43 6
Wise advice by Gosling and Moon (2001) on writing learning outcomes:-
Keep learning outcomes simple, normally use only one sentence with one verb in each outcome and avoid unnecessary jargon. Occasionally more than one sentence may be used for clarity. (Gosling and Moon, 2001 p. 20)
Moon (2002) clearly emphasizes this point when discussing the importance of writing learning outcomes that can be assessed: Certainly, all learning outcomes should be assessable; in other words, they should be written in terms that enable testing of whether or not the student has achieved the outcome.(Moon, 2002 p.75)
Advantages of learning outcomes Jenkins and Unwin (2001):-
- Help teachers to tell students more precisely what is expected of them.
- Help students to learn more effectively: students know where they stand and the curriculum is made more open to them.
- Help teachers to design their materials more effectively by acting as a template for them.
- Make it clear what students can hope to gain from following a particular course or lecture.
- Help teachers select the appropriate teaching strategy matched to the intended learning outcome, e.g. lecture, seminar, group work, tutorial, discussion, peer group presentation or laboratory class.
- Help teachers to tell their colleagues more precisely what a particular activity is designed to achieve.
- Assist in setting examinations based on the materials delivered.
- Ensure that appropriate teaching and assessment strategies are employed.
(Jenkins, A. & Unwin, D. (2001), How to write learning outcomes) excerpt from Writing and Using Learning Outcomes (Dr Declan Kennedy)
“Good learning outcomes emphasize the application and integration of knowledge. Instead of focusing on coverage of material, learning outcomes articulate how students will be able to employ the material, both in the context of the class and more broadly.” (Greenleaf, 2008). When we say, learning outcomes can be assessed and evaluated properly. Educator can conduct formative as well as summative assessment for ensuring learning outcomes. Wise educator develops an authentic assessment techniques i.e. pen-paper pencil tests, project work, portfolios, keeping anecdotal records, peer assessments, field works, organizing retention test, conducting quiz, debate, elocution and other assessment rubrics. Educator’s self introspection for overall planning, preparation and executions surely helps students’ maximum and effective learning outcomes.
For more Valuable Information:
(Adapted from) Writing and Using Learning Outcomes (A Practical Guide)-Dr Declan Kennedy
Adapted from Developing learning outcomes: A guide for University of Toronto faculty by Greenleaf, E. Retrieved from Retrieved from http://teaching.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Developing-LearningOutcomes-Guide-Aug-2014.pdf
Moon, J. (2002), The Module and Programme Development Handbook. London: Kogan Page Limited.
Gosling, D. and Moon, J. (2001), How to use Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria. London: SEEC Office.
American Association of Law Libraries: http://www.aallnet.org/prodev/outcomes.asp
Jenkins, A. & Unwin, D. (2001), How to write learning outcomes. Available online: www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/education/curricula/giscc/units/format/outcomes.html
University of New South Wales Learning and Teaching Unit.
Available online: http://www.ltu.unsw.edu.au/content/course_prog_support/outcomes.cfm?ss=0