Programs and courses taught for credit at Coast Mountain College go through an extensive and important review process that is initiated before courses are taught as well as on a regular and ongoing basis. This ongoing and in-depth process helps to increase precision and quality in teaching and learning while allowing for content to adapt and stay current with contemporary changes. This process often involves conversations with colleagues, articulation committees, clusters, Deans, Registrar’s Office, the Centre of Learning Transformation and a formal review through the Education Council.
In the midst of this process is an important step of establishing learning outcomes for both programs and courses. Well-developed learning outcomes are essential as they shape the trajectory of the class, providing an anchor for designing curriculum, course delivery, and assessment.
How to approach learning outcomes
Exploring the “What” of learning, and more importantly “Why?”
Learning outcomes, at first glance, can seem a clear and straight forward list of what a course hopes to accomplish. While answering this ‘what’ is straightforward at first glance, the process of arriving to the ‘what’ is usually the result of a far more complex and comprehensive process that includes answering the ‘why’ of learning in the course or program. This process is based on a prioritization of goals at the intersection(s) of subject matter and learning theory.
If you are developing or updating a course at Coast Mountain College and are at the course outline stage here are some helpful steps you can take to make the process as energizing and smooth as possible:
1. Initiate and develop a healthy conversation with colleagues, cluster, and other subject matter experts about the ‘what’s’ and ‘why’s’ of your course.
2. Take a look at BLOOM’s Taxonomy [PDF] and notice the difference between the domains. Coast Mountain College has intentionally introduced La Fever’s (2016) fourth domain as a way to open pathways for indigenizing courses. If you are revising an existing course, do a verb audit – circle all the verbs from your existing learning outcomes on Bloom’s Taxonomy to see in which domains they are located. If you are creating a new course, circle verbs you think might be useful as starting points for learning outcomes.
3. Meet with COLT and bring your completed draft forms of the following:
4. After the meeting with COLT, design and draft some learning outcomes and refine the course outline.
5. Contact COLT to review and refine learning outcomes and course outline forms (as well as meet with other necessary departments, such as the Registrar’s Office).
6. Final adjustments made before the ACPAC and EDCO review process.