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What questions can teachers ask themselves when developing curriculum?

The other day I was part of a team delivering a workshop on learning outcome development. The information presented (AQF standards, Blooms taxonomy, etc) was valuable however I wondered what questions we could ask that would make people think about their current attitudes and practices regarding intended learning outcomes, in a way that would document and make transparent the attitudes and practices people had regarding intended learning outcomes. Using this information we can hold more targeted and meaningful discussion, starting with peoples current understandings and perceptions.

I brainstormed a number of questions designed to target and elicit participants deep conceptions of ILO's, and wrote two of them on the wall for people to respond to. I encouraged people to come up and write their thoughts for others to see. Later on I had people tell me that the activity really helped them to see Intended Learning Outcomes differently thanks to what other people had written, this was transformative and an excellent outcome.

One day I would like to structure and revise the questions into a format of a design thinking workshop, using the resources the others in the team put together as a resource people can call on during the workshop, and/or present at the start.

The questions I came up with (which don't all relate specifically to outcomes, some related to flipped classroom teaching) on the back of my folder were:

  • What do intended learning outcomes what comes to mind, what do they mean to you?
  • Brainstorm the ideal outcomes you have for your unit (use Blooms or Biggs SOLO taxonomies to help define them)
  • How would you ideally evaluate student performance against these outcomes?
  • What are students currently DOING in their contact time with you as teacher?
  • What could students be doing in their time with you that would help them MASTER the skills/knowledge/concepts associated with the Intended Learning Outcomes?
  •  E.g. what concepts/tasks usually require a mentor to reach mastery level? What threshold concepts exist that students will need help with?
  • What activities can students be doing online/out of class? E.g. what knowledge/skills can students master on their own or in study groups or otherwise out of range of an expert?
  • What content/topics/activities would be needed to underpin the learning of the outcomes?
  • In your view, what role do intended learning outcomes play?
  • What influence do you think ILO's have on the unit in terms of teaching and learning?

I asked only two of these, here they are with responses:


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