Instructional Design that Soars: Shaping What You Know into Classes that Inspire by Guila Muir was used to provide a dynamic professional development session about developing course outcomes for the Faculty Program Directors (FPDs) within the School of Business and Technology at Excelsior College.
The textbook was used to create a foundational level of knowledge amongst stakeholders within the school about developing course outcomes and to model the process for the participants and help them to realize how useful it is to collaborate with others throughout the process. Some of the content was used from chapter three to facilitate in going through the process, from coming up with a purpose statement to developing and refining course outcomes. Two of the worksheets from chapter three were used including Purpose Statement #1 and Transforming Your Content Clumps into Learning Outcomes. These worksheets were used in conjunction with activities that actively engaged the participants in the process of developing course outcomes within a group of three. The worksheets were also used to facilitate discussions about the different factors that need to be taken into account when developing or revising a course, including the length of the course and the media through which students will be participating in the course.
Upon completion of the training session, we asked for feedback from the participants and their comments were unanimously positive in nature; specifically noting that the professional development was useful in teaching them new strategies to tackle work that they engage in on a frequent basis. Participants also suggested to us in the future to do a follow-up workshop on evaluating course outcomes that already exist and approaches to improving them. The activity in the book “Answers to Test Yourself! Is this a Good Learning Outcome?” may be a fun activity to utilize for practice to fresh participants on what makes a good outcome good and then have participants review some of their own.