Why Do Student Learning Outcomes Focus on Pedagogy, Curriculum, & Assessment for Student Success?
A Scholarly Response
Slide presentation made by
Dr. Driscoll, at the UVP meeting held at UCLA, May 29th 2009.
Steps to Student Success in Learning-focused Institutions
- Examine and explain student success – at your institution, nationally
- Examine research-supported pedagogy, curriculum and assessment for student success – self assess your institution
- Reflect on how well your institution is learning-focused
- Plan for advanced assessment processes beyond learning outcomes
Beginning with Questions About Student Success
- What does student success mean at your institution? Nationally? In terms of your own values? Your institutional values?
- What classroom and teaching/learning processes and approaches lead to student success?
- What institutional (university, college, department) features support and promote student success?
What Is Student Success at Your Institution?
- How do you define it?
- What are the indicators of student success?
- How do students know?
- Are your graduates distinctive?
Sources for Information about Student Success
- Institutional mission, vision, values
- Institutional learning outcomes, departmental learning outcomes, course learning outcomes
- Core curriculum framework
- Brochures, catalog, program descriptions
- Learners, alums, employers, etc.
Student Success -- from a National Perspective
- Academic Achievement (LEAP)
- Retention and Graduation
- Engaged Citizens (Civic development)
- Student Well-being (mental health, etc.)
Educational Excellence: Indicators (E. Pascarella, 2001)
- Student/alumni outcomes
- Effective educational practices
Expanding Our Ideas of Learning
- Learning is not merely development of skills but of self awareness of their use and ethical sensibility about use.
- Learning is the capacity to hold onto complexity and ambiguity –to live uncertain answers.
- Learning is the capacity to be in community at multi-levels.
- Learning is the capacity for love—of learning, of the world, of… (Shulman, 2000).
Engagement = Student Success
Engaged Learning (“the time and energy students devote to educationally sound activities inside and outside of the classroom and the policies and practices that institutions use to induce students to take part in these activities” (Kuh et al, 2005) – correlated with academic success, retention, graduation, and learning gains.
Engagement at the Institutional Level: Demonstrated Student Success
- Alignment of mission with curriculum, LO’s
- First Year Programs
- Culminating Experiences
- Students engaged in Community
- Student voice/leadership
- Faculty relationships with students
- Students’ identity as a learner
- Students’ identity as a member of their institutional community
- Program review process
Learning Focus = Student Success
- Shifts focus from teaching to learning (Barr & Tagg, 1995)
- Challenges basic assumptions about learning and about our role in learning (Huba & Freed, 2000)
- Requires intimate faculty-student contact that encourages feedback and motivates student effort (Guskin, 1997)
- Rethinks the purpose of assessment (Banta, 1996)
Engaged Pedagogy: Learning Focused for Student Success(Huba & Freed, 2000)
- Students have clear expectations
- Students apply knowledge to important issues and problems
- Students are actively involved
- Students experience support and feedback for learning
- Students are able to practice and take risks
Engaged Pedagogy con’t
- Scaffolding of curriculum
- Collaborative/cooperative learning
- Community-based or service learning
- Alignment with learning outcomes
- Project or problem-based learning
- Judicious use of class presentations
- Interactive lectures
- Technology enhancement
Engaged Curriculum: Learning Focused for Student Success (Huba & Freed, 2000)
- Builds on previous learning
- Integrates education and experience
- Communicates values for and connection to student lives
- Attends to learning needs
- Synthesizes content
- Addresses relevant issues
Engaged Assessment: Learning Focused for Student Success
- Purpose of assessment is to promote learning (Angelo, 2003)
- Assessment information is “public and visible” (AAHE, 1995)
- Assessment enhances, extends, expands, and enriches learning (CSUMB, 2002)
Learning Outcomes: for Student Success
- Clearly stated and well understood by students (make sense) (Alverno, 2000)
- Direct the design of curriculum, pedagogy, assignments, resources, and assessment (CSUMB, 2002)
- Are visibly connected to the course elements (class sessions, assignments, assessments, etc.) (Driscoll & Wood, 2007)
Research Support for Learning Outcomes
- Student can focus and put more effort into learning (Halpern & Hakel, 2003)
- Students remember more and are able to transfer new learning to new situations (Halpern & Hakel, 2003)
- Students experience “deep” learning (Biggs, 1999)
Learning Evidence: Assessment for Student Success
- Evidence of student learning respects varied learning strengths, interests, needs (Bodi, 1990)
- Evidence of student learning is well matched to level of learning outcome (Driscoll & Wood, 2007)
- Evidence of analytical skills, creativity, resourcefulness, empathy, and ability to apply knowledge and transfer skills from one situation to another (AACU, 2003)
Learning Evidence con’t
- Replicate the kind of challenges adults face in the workplace, in civic affairs, or in their personal lives (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998)
- Respond to questions that are meaningful and engaging (Wiggins, 1989)
- Provide data about our students with measures that are “as fair as possible for as many students as possible” (Suskie, 2000)
Learning Criteria: for Student Success
- Criteria level the “playing field” for success (Faculty communication, 2004)
- Criteria are articulated, explained, and supported in class (Driscoll & Wood, 2007)
- Criteria support self-assessment, dialogue about student work and success (Shepperd, 2000)
- Criteria promote timely and meaningful feedback on evidence of learning (Stevens & Levi, 2005)
Alignment for Student Success
Alignment of Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Assessment with Learning Outcomes, Criteria, and Evidence in the context of a Learning Focused Institution for Faculty and Student Support
Learning Focused Institutions (Kezar, 2005)
- Strong focus on institutional character or distinctiveness or identity (Boyce, 2003)
- Inquiry and dialogue characterize institutional processes for planning, implementation, and change (Marsick & Watkins, 1999; Senge, 1990)
- Networks are in place to support learning efforts of faculty, staff, and students
Learning Focused Institutions (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, & Whitt, 2005)
- Institutional investment in student success
- An improvement oriented ethos directed to student success (“restlessness” Kuh et al, 2005
- A persistent tendency to move forward, to improve, to go beyond sustaining efforts
Beyond Learning Outcomes: Advanced Practices
Development of institutional rubrics
- task analysis of learning outcome
- task analysis of evidence (assignment)
- description of distinctive institutional criteria
- Alignment of courses, programs, institution curriculum with learning outcomes (curriculum mapping)
- Analysis of student evidence by insiders and outsiders
More Advanced Practices
- Designing related indirect evidence for extended assessment of learning outcomes
- Faculty discussion groups for “closing the loop”
- associated with analysis of student evidence)
- including both direct and indirect evidence
- with an inquiry approach
Closing The Loop Example
Evidence of Student Critical Thinking LO’s
Student exams/projects (High Ratings)
Employer rating (Low Ratings)
Alum surveys (Low Ratings)
Questions to be asked???
Possible action to be taken???
Alignment Agenda for Student Success
- Articulation of institutional description of student success.
- Development of questions about learning to be answered in assessment planning.
- Identification of forms of pedagogy, curricular distinctiveness, and assessment approaches that support student success at the institution. Plans for integration of other forms.
- Inclusion of advanced practices in assessment plan
Challenges and Inspirations
- Develop “pedagogies of uncertainty” (Shulman, 2005)
- Integrate “effortful practices with authentic practices and meaningful feedback” (Carl Weimer, 2007)
- “Let us work to elevate learning to the level of identity rather than the level of accomplishment” (Yves Labissiere, 2007)