In a recent Staff Development session Cathy Holbrook, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, introduced the idea of Mapping Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes. During the presentation, we were encouraged to sit with our department in order to work on our learning goals together. She equipped the group with a copy of the Divisional Student Learning Goals and Outcomes, as well as gave us map examples. She began by answering the question: What is a learning map?
It is a document that links programming (curriculum) to stated learning goals or outcomes. Maps provide a visual overview of where we provide opportunities for students to attain goals & master specific intended outcomes. Maps can be done at a variety of levels including divisional, departmental & programmatic.
- Increase understanding of mapping process and purposes
- Increase facility with the mapping process as an assessment tool
- Provide hands on practice with the mapping process
- Provide opportunity for departments to identify links between what they do & the division learning goals, and what they do & departmental learning outcomes
- Create stronger picture of how students learn through division programs/activities/etc
- Identify how we know the intended learning actually occurs
So, why do we use maps?
|source: Cathy Holbrook|
- Does that program/activity have defined outcomes? If not, are you willing to develop them?
- Do you regularly assess how effectively the outcomes are met? If not, how will you add an assessment component for the program/activity?
After Cathy explained the process, including a Student Affairs Learning Goals Grid, we worked with our colleagues to identify our programs, services and meaningful activities to fill in the grid. When identifying what the learning goals are, Cathy gave us an acronym to help focus better on the goals: SWBOT (students will be able to…). Doing so allowed us to better visualize or “map” our course as a department.