Saturday, July 28, 2012

David Concepción “Why that learning objective?”

One pedagogy is only better than another relative to a particular outcome. Therefore we don’t know whether what we are doing is worth a hill of beans unless we have thought through what our learning objectives are.

Standard goals: content, skills, enlightenment.

He has been moving more towards enlightenment goals.

An enlightenment question for environmental ethics: What ought you grieve? (Connects to a book by Judith Butler on the social construction of the grievable.)

Outcomes need to be keyed to the role of the class in student development: one off course, course for early majors, or a course for late majors.

He hands out lists of kinds of goals, including a list from L. Dee Fink. [Interestingly, the Fink seems to be presented as an alternative to Bloom’s taxonomy.]

What follows is an exercise in identifying learning outcomes for three different kinds of courses. [Most of my colleagues think that identifying learning outcomes is the most painful, pointless exercises imaginable, and the only thing that can make the experience worse is to have a philosopher in the group. This is a room full of philosophers trying to decide on learning outcomes. I like it.]

The punchline: Ultimately everyone was drawn to “enlightenment” type outcomes. David then says “if this is the outcome you really want, and you aren’t evaluating it, your outcomes are out of alignment.”

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