What Competency / Learning Outcomes Stack are you building?

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Most learning outcomes suck. But they don’t have to. And even if your outcomes are great, then the unique perspective shared here can better serve your curriculum design process and your students as they embark on what you’ve got in store for them.
The following provides an introduction to these ideas and what we call the Competency Stack Framework. And provides the tools to get started.

Start with the video tutorial below. And get right to it with the tools below that.

The steps you should follow at this stage:

We want you to:

  1. Watch the introduction video (above) to understand the context and key concepts for this work.
  2. Print yourself a Competency / Learning Outcomes Stack Framework (found below) and:
    • Articulate for yourself which competency you’re building / contributing to in your work
    • Pull out your Learning Experience Snapshot and have a look at the learning outcomes you’ve been working on
    • Figure out where each of them goes in your competency stack
    • Refine your learning outcomes as needed: Do they really speak to what you’re after? Are you missing some? Are they classified properly within this kind of framework? Together, do they represent the competency you’re building / contributing to?
  3. Use the worksheet template and the guidance materials (below) to refine the sketch of your stack and express each of your learning outcomes. Imagine that one of your students is going to read this document. Would they understand what you’re after them learning?
  4. Bring your completed worksheet with you into the next steps of the process.

The Competency /  Learning Outcomes Stack Framework

This is the version of the framework I use when first sitting down to put my learning outcomes into this new context. I’ll often print and write on it. Other times I might fire it into a drawing program on my iPad. Either way, it’s a tool for orienting / sketching my outcomes into the first draft of a competency stack.

Worksheet for capturing your competency stack and learning outcomes

Once you have a first sketch of your competency stack in hand, the next step is to capture it in this worksheet and then write out the learning outcomes. This document provides a template for this work.

Also see the document below for more detailed guidance.

Guidance on expressing your competencies as stacks of well-articulated learning outcomes

This document provides more details and some guidance for getting your competency stack and learning outcomes down.

A few more resources:

You can also check out that great interactive version of Bloom’s revised taxonomy. It requires Flash but also has other versions. And the pages include great examples of learning outcomes and the categories into which they’re traditionally classified.

Here is the Education for Life and Work report by NRC that I focused on in the video on the topics of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies.

Although I can’t find a copy of Biggs’ 2003 book (the one with the figure I refer to in the video), the version I shared with you before has lots of great stuff on designing and assessing for declarative, procedural, conditional, and functioning knowledge. That said, here’s the figure I showed in the video.

Here’s Dee Fink’s guide to course design.

And to complement what’s shared above, the following provide examples of well-stated outcomes in different categories:

This list is by no means exhaustive. Just pointing you to some of the things I referenced in the video.

When you’re ready to move on, click the button below to proceed to the next topic.

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