Imagine you are a sailor about to embark on a long journey. You know your destination and have an idea of how to get there, but without a map, you are likely to drift off course. The same goes for Team-based Learning (TBL) classes - without clear and effective learning outcomes, you and your students may wander aimlessly without a sense of direction or clarity of expectations of the learning activity.
Creating clear and effective learning outcomes is the key to the success of a TBL module, as they not only provide a roadmap for your students, but also ensure that your learning strategies and assessments align with your instructional outcomes. In this blog post, we will discuss three possible frameworks to help you create meaningful learning outcomes.
1. Define-Describe-Explain Framework
Before you define your learning outcomes, you may want to establish your overall expectations for the course or module through the Define-Describe-Explain Framework.
Firstly, define your topic to establish a baseline understanding. Then, describe why it is important to help learners understand its relevance and value. Finally, explain how to do it, providing practical guidance and steps for learners to apply what they have learned. Once you have clarity of the purpose of your course or module, you are ready to think about the more specific learner outcomes.
2. ABCD(E) Framework
When crafting your learning outcomes, you want to think about them being achievable and measurable. The ABCD(E) Framework one method for creating observable and measurable learning outcomes.
"A" stands for the audience. Keeping in mind who are your learners, their background, and capacity is important to create achievable expectations. "B" stands for behaviour. Being clear on what your learners are able to do after completing the learning experience and using action verbs will help you define observable and measurable actions. "C" stands for conditions under which you will observe the achievement of the behavior. The behavior can be observed through discussion, tests, or projects. Being clear on how you are “evaluating” the achievement of the outcome has a great impact on the learning activity being conducted. "D" stands for degree of success. Being clear on the passing criteria will help both you in setting your assessment strategy as well as the learner to know their end goal. Finally, after you have defined the ABCD - "E" stands for the learning environment. With the ABCD(E) framework, educators can create targeted and effective learning objectives.
3. Bloom's Taxonomy
Bloom's Taxonomy is a widely-used framework that provides educators with a tool to create clear observable behaviors as part of the learning outcomes.
Benjamin Bloom broke the learning process into six broad levels - ranging from lower-order thinking skills to higher-order skills. Within each category, there are numerous observable action verbs to use in describing the learning outcome behavior.
For example, here are some learning objectives for a nursing course using Bloom’s Taxonomy verbs within the ABCD (E) framework:
At the end of this session, learners (A) will be able to:
1. Remembering: Identify (B) accurately (D) the functions of the organs in the human digestive system on a written test (C).
2. Understanding: Explain (B) the three key (D) principles of pharmacology in an essay (C).
3. Applying: Demonstrate (B) the correct (D) steps involved in performing a sterile dressing change using appropriate (D) equipment and techniques in a procedural exam (C).
4. Analyzing: Accurately (D) compare and contrast (B) the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of Type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus in a written test (C).
5. Evaluating: Accurately (D) assess (B) the vital signs, physical status, and emotional state of a patient.
6. Creating: Develop (B) an accurate and comprehensive (D) care plan for a patient.
The learning environment (E) will vary depending on both the evaluation (condition) planned and behaviors expected.
In conclusion, effective learning outcomes are part of the “Backward Design" and essential for the success of TBL classes. With these frameworks, educators can create learning outcomes that promote critical thinking, active learning, and align with the intended course goals.