Courses are usually organized into instructional units or modules based on time constraints and/or topics. One model faculty can use to organize content is ORPA:
Faculty can apply the ORPA model to a course as a whole as well as to each module within a course. It provides a structure that helps integrate course elements and ensure that the course meets all learning objectives.
Outcomes are measurable performance goals. At the course level, they can be cumulative--- the result of a number of interim outcomes and objectives, or a portfolio of completed work that represents achievement of the overall outcome.
Stated outcomes make it easier for faculty to determine the learning resources, activities, and assessments that will enable students to learn and apply key concepts.
When writing outcomes:
- Use action verbs, such as analyze, explain, discuss, predict, compare and create
- State the knowledge or skill to be mastered
- Articulate what a student must do to demonstrate learning.
Outcomes-oriented exercises and activities
Research and synthesize information from primary sources to develop a position paper.
Two groups of students debate arguments for a re-visitation by the Supreme Court of Rowe vs. Wade.
Solve different types of differential equations.
Students solve a set of differential equations, showing all work.
Develop financial plans using accepted industry formats
Students present a completed financial plan for an organization incorporating the nine elements of the Stuart Method.
The Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Office offers resources for faculty to develop effective and relevant outcomes.
Resources are all of the reading, viewing, listening, and interactive materials included in a module or course. They include everything from textbooks to video streams to demonstrations, as well as learned and applied processes and procedures.
Practice entails applying knowledge gained in the form of homework, reports, projects, labs, studio work, discussions, and other activities and deliverables. Practice assignments enable instructors to check on students' learning progress.
In general, there are two levels of learning:
- Learning to be a member of a discipline includes the appropriate use of a vocabulary and the implementation of the right problem-solving methods to address challenges and concerns. Discussions, research reports and papers, case-study exercises, etc. are all forms of learning to be.
- Learning what and how involves correctly manipulating the material and cognitive tools that are common to a discipline. Examples include a manager writing reports according to specified content and formats, a printer setting up a four-color press, or an operations manager creating financial and risk-management plans for designing and building computer chips.
During assessment, students demonstrate in some observable and/or measurable way that learning has occurred. Assessments can be in the same form as Practice and can mark cumulative steps to reach a specific learning outcome or goal.
The Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Office offers resources for faculty to develop effective and relevant assessments.