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Christopher John

eLearning Team Leader, School of Social Sciences

Published 17 Oct 2019 • 30 mins read

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Interpreting and expressing learning outcomes in learning design

This resource is a tutorial, based on experience at Cardiff University School of Social Sciences, provides a grounding in learning outcome interpretation and expression using the ABC learning design method from University College London.

Introduction

In UK (United Kingdom) Higher Education, learning outcomes play a central role in defining expectations for the learning experience.  This tutorial, based on experience at Cardiff University's School of Social Sciences, provides a grounding in learning outcome interpretation and expression using the ABC learning design method from University College London. The tutorial begins with an introduction to the composition and purpose of learning outcomes in a UK Higher Education context, followed by guidance on interpreting learning outcomes to define a pedagogical approach, and subsequent expression of the pedagogical approach using ABC learning types, before finally providing a plan for delivery of an ABC workshop.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this tutorial, learners should be able to:

  • identify the structure and composition of learning outcomes in relation to Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • interpret implicit and explicit guidance for a pedagogical approach from learning outcomes
  • express characteristics of a pedagogical approach using ABC learning types
  • describe the different stages and purpose of activities in an ABC learning design workshop

Chapters

What are learning outcomes?

How learning outcomes are composed and structured into different cognitive levels according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, indicative of surface or deeper forms of learning.

Interpreting learning outcomes

How learning outcomes provide implicit assumptions for a pedagogical approach.

Expressions of pedagogy using ABC learning design

Expressing characteristics of a pedagogical approach and learning activities using the learning types from ABC learning design.

Delivering an ABC workshop

Facilitation plan for an ABC workshop, based on a workshop model from Cardiff University School of Social Sciences.

Feedback

Feedback on this tutorial can be provided by completing a short survey.

Please download the full resource which including references.

About the author

This tutorial was designed by Christopher John, eLearning Team Leader, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University (johnc11@cardiff.ac.uk)

References

Barab, S.A. and Duffy, T.M. (2000) ‘From practice fields to communities of practice’, in Jonassen, D.H. and Land, S.M. (eds.) Theoretical Foundations of Learning Environments. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 29-65.

Beetham, H. (2013) ‘Designing for Active Learning in Technology-Rich Contexts’, in Beetham, H. and Sharpe, R. (eds.) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age. London: Routledge, pp. 31-48.

Biggs, J. (1999) ‘What the Student Does: teaching for enhanced learning’, Higher Education Research & Development, 18(1), pp. 57-75.

Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2011) Teaching for quality learning at university what the student does.  4th edn. Maidenhead: Open.

Bloom, B. S., Engelhart, M. D., Furst, E. J., Hill, W. H. and Krathwohl, D. R. (1956) Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay Company.

Bovill, C., Cook-Sather, A., Felten, P., Millard, L. and Moore-Cherry, N. (2015) ‘Addressing potential challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: overcoming resistance, navigating institutional norms and ensuring inclusivity in student–staff partnerships’, Higher Education, 71(2), pp. 195-208.

Cardiff University (2016) Writing learning outcomes (Accessed: 22 Oct 2018).

Conole, G., Dyke, M., Oliver, M. and Seale, J. (2004) 'Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design', Computers & Education, 43(1), pp. 17-33.

Conole, G. (2010) 'Bridging the gap between policy and practice: A reflective review and looking forward to the future', Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, 6(1), pp. 13-27.

Healey, M., Flint, A., and Harrington, K. (2014) Students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York: Higher Education Academy.

JISC (2018) Designing learning and assessment in a digital age (Accessed: 14 February 2019).

Kolb, D. (2015) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development.  2nd edn. Pearson Education Limited.

Laurillard, D. (2012) Teaching as a Design Science. Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. London: Routledge.

Lorin, W, A. and Krathwohl, R, D. (2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

Mayes, T. and De Freitas, S. (2013) ' Technology-Enhanced Learning: The Role of Theory ', in Beetham, H. and Sharpe, R. (eds.) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age. London: Routledge, pp. 17-30.

Overton, T. (2010) Chapter B3: Learning and Teaching (Accessed: 22 Oct 2018).

University of Sheffield (2010) The inclusive learning and teaching handbook (Accessed: 14 Feb 2018).

University of Strathclyde (2007) Assessment Principles: Some possible candidates (Accessed: 18 June 2018).

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice. Learning, Meaning and Identity. Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive, and Computational Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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