Formative and Summative Evaluations by LeeHarland


									Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

       Introduction
       Definitions
           o Mission
           o Goal
           o Learning Outcome
                   Outcome
                   Outcome Statement
                   Learning Outcome
                   Learning Outcome Statement
                   Objective
                   Learning Outcome Objective
                   Behavioral Objective
           o Teaching Strategies
           o Outcome Assessment
           o Alignment
           o Concept of backward design
       Bloom’s Taxonomy
       Learning-Centered Outcomes
       What it does for the teacher
       What it does for the student
       ABCD
       Book
       Resources



University Mission Statement

A mission statement is a concise statement outlining the purpose of the
university. Colleges, schools, departments, and programs may or may not
use a mission statement, but if they do, should reflect relevant information
from the university-level statement. Georgia Southern University’s mission


The university, colleges, schools, departments, and programs may or may
not use goal statements. A goal is a broad, general statement of what the
unit intends to accomplish. The statements should be related to the goal(s)
of the university.

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

The following figure shows how mission and goal statements flow through the
campus units.

                                School or
   University                  Department         Program
   miss ion and                                  miss ion and
       goals                   miss ion and          goals

Learning Outcome

Depending on the school, college, or department in which you work, the term
“learning outcome” could be called by another name.

This document defines “learning outcome” as:

                  An easily identified action that a student is expected to
                  demonstrate in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes upon
                  completion of a program, course, and/or unit of study.

Learning outcomes are generally stated using action verbs that indicate what
the student will be able to DO at the end of learning.

                  The student will be able to write and count out loud in Spanish
                  from 1-20.

These are actions (demonstration) by the student that are MEASURABLE. By
stating learning outcomes as such, the student knows exactly what is
expected in the assessment. (Think of it as a prescription.) Notice that the
learning outcome statement is from the perspective of the student, not the

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

Learning outcome statements are derived from the goal statements as
indicated in the following figure.

                                                   Learning outcome s tatement

                                  goals            Learning outcome s tatement

                                                   Learning outcome s tatement

Compare that to this statement:

“The student will be able to identify a microorganism to the genus and
species level by selecting from an array of identification methods.”

Though the specific actions or procedures needed to identify the
microorganism have not been stated in the learning outcome (because it is
too much to list), the result is the same; the student will produce a product
or result. If all procedures are performed correctly, the identification of the
microorganism will be correctly obtained and reported. (Nota Bene: This
type of learning and assessment could be accompanied by a rubric to guide
the student in study and preparation for assessment.)

Teaching Strategies

Learning outcome statements indicate what the student will do to
demonstrate that learning has occurred. The question is: How are you (as
the instructor) going to make that happen? What learning activities and
teaching strategies will you use to move the student to the desired learning
outcome? Whatever you state as a learning outcome is exactly what you
must assess. The teaching strategy is the bridge between the two.

                                          Experiences leading to
   Learning outcome s tatement                                                   Outcome assessment

Outcome Assessment

It’s test time, and you have to see if your students have learned. Your
assessment instrument (quizzes, reports, essays, etc.) should assess
(measure) no more and no less than what you stated in the learning outcome
statement. If all is done well, you can say that the learning outcome
statements ALIGN with your outcome assessment.


Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

Alignment is everything! Alignment is the central idea behind all the above.
Alignment is what you hope to achieve when designing instruction.
Alignment means that your outcome statements, teaching strategies, and
assessments all work together in harmony. What you stated in your learning
outcomes is precisely and accurately measured (no more and no less) by
your outcome assessments. In addition, your teaching strategies were such
that they carried the student through the learning to the prescribed learning
outcome. If you have achieved good alignment, then your outcome
assessments will “close the loop” by reflecting exactly what you predicted in
your learning outcome statement(s).

    Course                                          Experiences leading to
     goals         Learning outcome s tatement                               Outcome assessment

                                          Closing the Loop

Concept of Backward Design

Another way to think about designing instruction (course design) is to ask
yourself what it is you want your students to do after instruction. It might
help to think about the assessment part BEFORE you write your learning
outcome statements. Work your way BACKWARDS from assessment through
the learning strategies to the learning outcome statements.

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

This is another look at the mechanics of stating objectives.

Let’s start by focusing on one very important word: alignment. Webster’s
defines alignment as

1: the act of aligning or state of being aligned; especially: the proper
positioning or state of adjustment of parts in relation to each other

2: an arrangement of groups or forces in relation to one another

All courses have goals, objectives, assignments and some form of
assessment. These components do not exist in isolation; rather they work
together to achieve a specific outcome of learning. Learning outcome
expectations prescribe goals, objectives, assignments and assessment. If
the outcome assessment truly reflects the objective statement, then there is
alignment. If the outcome assessment measures more or less than the
objective statement, then there is poor alignment, which probably indicates
there is a problem with the objective statements, the assignments or the
assessment process. Notice how the arrows point both ways to indicate


        Goals – A goal is a very broad, general statement about the intention
        of the instruction. What is the purpose of the entire course or a
        specific portion of a course? There may be multiple goals for a single
        course. What values or knowledge do you want to impart to the
        students? Are there program goals that should be considered?

        Objective – Very specific statement about what students should be
        able to do after a specific assignment or series of assignments or
        tasks. Objectives are based on learning outcome expectations; for this
        reason, the term “objective” is sometimes stated as outcome
        objective. Outcome expectations determine the objective statements,
        the assignments, the tasks, the teaching strategies, and the
        assessments will be. There may be, and usually are, multiple
        objectives for a course.

        Assignment – The assignment is based on the objective statement.
        The assignment should give the student the ability to do what was
        stated in the objective.

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

        Outcome Assessment – This is the starting point for creating goals,
        objectives, and assignments. Whatever is stated in the objective must
        be measurable in the assessment. If the assessment is not measuring
        what the objective stated, then there is poor alignment somewhere
        along the line.

Why is good alignment between goals through assessment so

    1. Good alignment between goals, objectives, assignments and
          a. is a process to help the instructor focus on good instructional
             development of course materials, teaching strategies and
             assessment strategies. The process promotes reflection about
          b. is guidance to help the students understand what is expected,
             and how they will be assessed.
    2. Accrediting agencies, like SACS and others, require proof of alignment
       within every program of study and in every course.

How do we achieve good alignment?

Though not rocket science, there are specific details that deserve close
attention to achieve good alignment. One of the details is learning how to
state learning objectives correctly. The objective statement should state
what the learner will be able TO DO at the end of the instruction or course.
This requires that very specific verbs be used.

        Example of an objective statement

        The student will be able to conjugate all regular “er” verbs in French.

        Example of a not-so-good objective statement

        The student will understand “er” verbs in French.

It’s pretty obvious that the first objective statement is clearer and more
measurable than the second statement. The point is that the verb “to
conjugate” indicates something that is measurable. The student is able to
conjugate all the verb tenses correctly or not. This is just a simplistic
example, but there is more to the story… What TYPE or LEVEL of learning do
you want to occur and measure? See Bloom’s classification of cognitive skills
on the following page.

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

Bloom's Classification of Cognitive Domain Skills

    Category                      Definition              Related Behavior (Verbs)
                         recalling or remembering        define, describe, identify,
                         something without               label, list, match, memorize,
                         necessarily understanding,      point to, recall, select, state
                         using, or changing it
                         understanding something         alter, account for, annotate,
                         that has been                   calculate, change, convert,
                         communicated without            group, explain, generalize,
Comprehension            necessarily relating it to      give examples, infer,
                         anything else                   interpret, paraphrase,
                                                         predict, review, summarize,
                         using a general concept to      apply, adopt, collect,
                         solve problems in a             construct, demonstrate,
    Application          particular situation; using     discover, illustrate, interview,
                         learned material in new         make use of, manipulate,
                         and concrete situations         relate, show, solve, use
                         breaking something down         analyze, compare, contrast,
                         into its parts; may focus       diagram, differentiate,
                         on identification of parts or   dissect, distinguish, identify,
     Analysis            analysis of relationships       illustrate, infer, outline, point
                         between parts, or               out, select, separate, sort,
                         recognition of                  subdivide
                         organizational principles
                         creating something new by       blend, build, change,
                         putting parts of different      combine, compile, compose,
                         ideas together to make a        conceive, create, design,
    Synthesis            whole.                          formulate, generate,
                                                         hypothesize, plan, predict,
                                                         produce, reorder, revise, tell,
                         judging the value of            accept, appraise, assess,
                         material or methods as          arbitrate, award, choose,
                         they might be applied in a      conclude, criticize, defend,
    Evaluation           particular situation;           evaluate, grade, judge,
                         judging with the use of         prioritize, recommend,
                         definite criteria               referee, reject, select,

The category represents the level of cognitive ability. As you create your
objectives, you should keep in mind exactly what level your subject matter is
being taught. The verbs in the third column may be used to create objective
statements. Of course, this list is not exhaustive of all possibilities; there are
many more examples on the Web.

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

Affective and Psychomotor Domains

In addition to the cognitive domain, there are two other domains of
learning: affective and psychomotor. Affective has to do with emotions,
attitudes, feelings and values. Psychomotor has to do with motor skills.
These will not be discussed in depth in this document. For more about these
other domains, please refer to the “Learning Domains or Bloom's Taxonomy”

Just for the record, Bloom did not develop the affective domain alone, and
did not develop the psychomotor domain at all. Bloom was more interested
in the cognitive domain for intellectual skills. See references for authors at
the end of this document.

Not only is it important to signal the learning outcome with the appropriate
action verb, it is sometimes necessary to state the conditions and degree of
the learning.

ABCD = Audience, Behavior (performance), Condition, and Degree

The following was adapted form Robert Manger’s approach:

In addition to simply using action verbs for behavioral outcomes, it is
sometimes helpful if not important to set the condition and degree to which
the learner will perform. Remember “ABCD” for the following.

        Audience - The who.

                 "The student…"

        Behavior - An objective always says what a learner is expected to be
        able to do. The objective sometimes describes the product or result of
        the doing. Ask yourself, what is the learner doing when demonstrating
        achievement of the objective? This is performance.

                 “will be able to conjugate 10 regular “er” verbs…”
                 (quantity and behavior)

        Condition - An objective always describes the important conditions (if
        any) under which the performance is to occur.

                 “without reference material…” and/or

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University
Goals, Learning Outcomes, Assignments, Assessments

                 “in ten minutes…”
                 (time constraint)

        Degree - Wherever possible, an objective describes the criterion of
        acceptable performance by describing how well the learner must
        perform in order to be considered acceptable.

                 “with 70 % accuracy.”

This “ABCD” example does not have to be followed explicitly; there are many
more examples on the Web. See the resources for additional information on
the Goals and Objectives site:


Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The
Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.

Krathwohl, D. R., Bloom, B. S., & Bertram, B. M. (1973). Taxonomy of
Educational Objectives, the Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook II:
Affective Domain. New York: David McKay Co., Inc.

Simpson E. J. (1972). The Classification of Educational Objectives in the
Psychomotor Domain. Washington, DC: Gryphon House.

Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University

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