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Wednesday, June 22 • 11:15 - 12:15
CON01.04a - Assessing Programme-Level Learning Outcomes: (F)Utility for Whom?

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We know we can assess course or module-level learning outcomes – we do so explicitly or implicitly with a variety of assessment tools. There is some evidence that publishing and assessing learning outcomes empowers students (Hussey & Smith, 2008), but they might also hinder genuine learning (Torrance, 2007). We also know that course or module-level learning outcomes should be clearly linked to programme-level outcomes (Moon, 2002), but are they inherently linked, or are course/module outcomes and assessment largely independent of the programme-level outcomes? With the exception of externally accredited programmes like engineering, or those few with some sort of ‘capstone’ project’, do most academic programmes directly assess programme-level learning outcomes? If so, then for what purpose, and if not, then what value is lost? I conducted face-to-face interviews with colleagues in Ireland and Australia to find answers to these questions and during this research presentation, I will share my methodology, my initial findings, and the possible (f)utility that my tentative conclusions might have for institutions, programmes, and students. I will leave participants with three questions: 1) In the Canadian context, where are programme-level LOs being directly assessed and how? 2) Should we be attempting to directly assess programme-level LOs and why? 3) Where could this research go from here, at what cost, and for what benefit?


Russell Day

Teaching Professor, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Russell Day is a Teaching Professor in Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Simon Fraser University. In addition to teaching large Intro Psyc courses, he is involved in a variety of educational development activities, primarily with the Instructional Skills Workshop... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 11:15 - 12:15 EDT
UCC 56