As an online instructor with many students, it is challenging to remember details about every learner who has passed through my virtual classroom. But there
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
communicating learning outcomes
Students frequently wonder and sometimes ask, “Why are we doing this? Why do I need to know this? Why are we spending so much time on this? Why do we have to do this busywork?”
When students don’t see the connection between the content and activities of the course and their future lives, they question what’s happening and what we ask them to do. Research confirms that perceived relevance is a critical factor in maintaining student interest and motivation. It also contributes to higher student ratings on course evaluations.
Faculty usually hold a set of beliefs that make the whole topic of learning outcome assessment seem boring, useless, or both.
Faculty who communicate intended learning outcomes help students to be more aware of their learning. The realities of “meta-learning” are that students gain practice in becoming more reflective on their experiences as learners—they start to see the why and how of education as it translates into knowledge and skills. Just as important is how they begin to view the educational experience in its entirety.