Three Issues for Effective Development of Curriculum & Assessment

At the 2011 Texas Community College Instructional Leaders annual conference in Fort Worth, October 5-6, I had the opportunity to present and discuss three issues I think are important to the effective development of curriculum and assessment.  The three issues are those which I have identified over the past year as I’ve worked more in depth with my local institution’s curriculum and assessment initiatives.  The highlights of the discussion and presentation: Read more

What @GoogleBooks’ NGRAM viewer could be . . .

A few weeks back, the @GoogleBooks team released a lab product related to the Books Project: the NGram Viewer.  According to the NGram site,

When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books (e.g., “British English”, “English Fiction”, “French”) over the selected years.

In short? Put words or phrases into the search box, separated by commas, select a time range, and the NGram viewer displays the frequency at which each appears in the corpus of text contained in the Google Books database.  A few quick searches, with predictable results, that I did when I first experimented with the tool included: (a) groovy, (b) laptop, and (c) hillbilly.

My question, “Where does @GoogleBooks plan for this project to go in the future? And, do they realize this could be a killer app for qualitative research?”  Imagine two things. Read more

Technology makes “Tests” obsolete, or should…

Creative Commons License photo credit: -Marlith-

Technological progress makes many things obsolete: horse drawn carriages as a means of regular transportation, broadcast television or printed newspapers as a primary or sole source of news and information, tests as reliable and valid forms of assessment . . .

Wait?  What?

Yep. Tests are an anachronism of an assessment era that is or should be fading into the past.  They no longer effectively serve the purpose they were intended to serve. Why? Read more

Learning Outcomes ARE NOT Learning Objectives

The simple fact that Learning Outcomes are NOT the same as Learning Objectives is a key principle to “Developing Effective Learning Outcomes & Objectives.”  As noted in that presentation outline,

The differences lie in the level of specificity each provides and the relationship of each to assessment methods and instructional activities.  Failure to understand and accommodate the differences can restrict academic freedom of faculty and complicate institutional efforts to manage curriculum and assessment.

Using the course I teach – COSC 1401 Introduction to Computers – I want to briefly illustrate the difference and the relationship between a learning outcome and a learning objective.  Read more

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