Critically Reflective Questions to Ask when Reviewing the Learning Outcomes of a Subject
Taken from pages 6/7 of A Primer on Learning Outcomes and the SOLO Taxonomy
The following questions can be used to help you complete critically-reflective self-evaluations regarding your learning outcomes — and they’re worth returning to periodically as well, particularly when you reflect after a subject is over.
1. If students completed your subject having mastered these learning outcomes, and only these learning outcomes, would you consider the subject a success?
2. If a colleague asked you why you chose these learning outcomes, how would you explain your decisions?
3. Why do the skills, concepts, attitudes, and values contained in these learning outcomes matter to you, to your subject, to your discipline? Why should they matter to students?
4. Given the learning outcomes you’ve chosen, how does this subject connect with other subjects that are taught (or would likely be taught) in your program?
a. How does it prepare students for the rest of their program?
b. How does it build on what they would have learned before enrolling in your subject?
5. Which of your outcomes address likely threshold concepts* and bottlenecks?
6. If a colleague said, “I think your outcomes expect too much (or too little)”, how would you explain your choices?
* Please see Jane Pritchard’s ‘Threshold concepts’ from the London School of Economics and Political Science for a discussion about and explanation of threshold concepts