Degrees of learning
The desired degree of learning is a tool that can be used in conjunction with curriculum mapping and outcome statements. Learning outcomes are a way to measure what is being taught while the desired degree of learning indicates the level of skill students are expected to achieve for a given student learning outcome.
The categories offered are Introduced, Reinforced, or Mastered.
Faculty or staff can choose the desired degree of learning of the outcome that the assessment seeks to address. If this is not made into a system field, users are not required to enter information.
- Introduced: Degree of learning intended to introduce basic knowledge, facts, concept, and/or ideas that support the learning outcome. The student is often shown material for the first time and might require explicit guidance for application.
- Reinforced: Degree of learning intended to strengthen and support the development of knowledge relevant to the learning outcome. This will further develop the skills necessary for the future optimal achievement of the learning outcome. Students will gain a full understanding of the material but still might require assistance in more challenging applications.
- Mastered: Degree of learning intended to show achievement of the outcome. This involves the integration of all knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the complete accomplishment of the outcome. Students are expected to have a full understanding of the material and can apply it independently.
Institutions can set an expectation that, when progressing through the curriculum, they will move from an introductory level of competency to a reinforced or mastered level, depending on the learning outcomes.
The degree of learning can help inform decisions about course sequencing and curriculum development. It can help departments and programs design course sequences in appropriate ways and it can provide information as to whether students are experiencing enough opportunities for the acquisition and practice of disciplinary skills before they are expected to demonstrate having mastered the outcome objectives. Courses and outcomes can overlap information or practices, if desired, to provide scaffolding and start a foundation of learning.
The degrees of learning in the Outcomes product is accessible in the Outcomes and Assessment templates from a drop-down menu labelled Degrees of Learning. In the Outcomes template, the user creating the Outcome can indicate what degree of learning they desire for the outcome to be achieved at. As long as this is not made into a system field, users are not required to enter information (screenshot below).
In the Assessment template, users will be able to indicate what degree of learning the outcome is being assessed at. They will see the same drop-down menu, with the same labels and options. The only difference in appearance is that, if the outcome was created with a desired degree of learning, users will see a tag next to the specified option in the drop-down menu in the Assessment template indicating which option was selected at the outcome level (screenshot below). Users are not required to select the same degree of learning as indicated in the outcome.