What Do You Want Them To Learn Today? Materials from my workshop on learning goals at FTEP, 2/22/12

by Stephanie Chasteen on February 23, 2012

I just gave a workshop on learning goals to a great group of thoughtful faculty for our faculty teaching excellence program.   Here are the materials and slides from the workshop.

Students don’t always learn what it is that we intend to teach them. In several science departments, faculty are addressing this gap by collaboratively deciding on just what it is that they want students to take away from a particular course or lecture. These learning goals have been valuable as a communication tool among faculty and between faculty and students so that everybody knows what the outcomes of the course are meant to be. Once these goals are written, it’s also much easier to write exams and other assessments. But writing clear learning goals takes some practice. In this interactive workshop, you’ll get that practice – in defining goals and designing assessments that address those goals. You will work in groups with faculty from similar disciplines to generate and analyze goals and questions, and will discus how to put ongoing assessment of your students into practice. You are encouraged to work on a class you are currently teaching, so you can apply the techniques immediately.


  1. Article on Learning Goals by Perkins and Smith here
  2. Bloom’s Taxonomy verbs here
  3. Workshop handout packet here
  4. The single slide of formative assessment techniques here 


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