Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Learning outcomes - where's the evidence?

Bloom's taxonomy At the December meeting of our local PedR group yesterday, we discussed learning outcomes. This was an interesting topic and an enjoyable discussion, although I'm not convinced we made any progress, at least not in terms of converting the doubters. One of the threads to emerge from the discussion was Where's the evidence?

Shortly after the meeting, I came across this website from Carnegie Mellon University:
Solve a Teaching Problem
It's an interesting site and I don't want to be unduly critical of this approach to surface staff development. I hope the staff of Carnegie Mellon University benefit from it. But it does leave me asking myself, where's the evidence?

As far as learning objectives are concerned, one possible improvement we discussed yesterday was in future to try to present learning outcomes as a pedagogic rather than a managerial objective. That at least must help with the hearts and minds problem which learning outcomes face.


  1. What about Frank Furedi's commentary on Learning Outcomes in Times Higher Education Supplement Nov 29 . "Frank Furedi believes their prescriptive nature and underlying utilitarian ethos make them an altogether more corrosive influence on higher education"
    Subsequent letters/University of Poppleton etc also worth noting!

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