learning outcomes

How to Improve Learning Outcomes with Data-Driven Decisions

Instructors of college students, or any students for that matter, want to create the best possible learning outcomes for those they are teaching. But ideas on how to improve results have changed over the years. The latest trend focuses on data-driven decisions to better educate college students. Read on to learn tips for improving learning outcomes in your classroom.

Using student data

Data-driven decisions have been a part of education since education was first formalized in the United States. Teachers used information about how students did in certain areas and what techniques worked best to adapt their methods to create Read More…


How to Evaluate Learning Outcomes

When you’re creating a course, how do you determine the goals for your college students to reach by the end of the semester? Creating learning outcomes gives you a tool by which to tailor your student assessment, measuring their aptitude against the initial purpose of the course. Writing student learning outcomes can be a challenge, and there are several different ways to look at this tool. Consider some of these ideas as you evaluate your students’ learning.

Assessment and learning outcomes

Assessment of college student academic performance can be easily summed up as you determine if your students have learned Read More…


Alternative Methods of Skills Assessment: Beyond the Exam

Just as a physician takes a pulse to assess a patient’s health, instructors use educational assessment techniques to monitor the effectiveness of teaching and achievement of learning outcomes in the classroom. Assessment provides valuable feedback that is used to adjust the presentation of instruction or to place students in programs. Traditional assessment tools often utilize a test instrument such as true-false or multiple choice. These instruments are designed to solicit either recall or identification skills of students. Other assessment techniques, such as authentic assessment, measure real-world situational knowledge. What methods can be used to take assessment beyond the Read More…


Creating a Research Paper Rubric for College Students

It’s often difficult for college students to understand exactly what the teacher expects from them when it comes to tests or research papers. Creating a research paper rubric for your students will help guide them toward the proper format, themes, concepts, focus and execution they need to perform in a term paper for it to be successful. Try these tips for both creating a rubric template and for using rubrics to give feedback to students.

Sample rubric for research papers

When creating rubrics, use straightforward and concise language to inform students. You can create a rubric with various parameters for different skill Read More…


Higher Grades and Improved Critical Thinking with MindTap

In the fall of 2015, MarketingWorks and SEG Measurement, two independent research firms, conducted a comprehensive study of whether students in philosophy courses that use MindTap® receive higher grades and improve their critical thinking skills more than a comparable group of students in similar philosophy courses that do not use MindTap. A total of 227 students and nine instructors teaching 15 philosophy classes in nine different institutions of higher education participated in the MindTap research, including five classes that used MindTap and 10 classes that did not. All instructors who used MindTap provided feedback about MindTap throughout the semester, Read More…


Digital Learning Tools: Improve Learning Outcomes

Well-defined learning outcomes help educators design their course and determine the best use of technology, improving student success. Our studies have shown that digital learning tools in the classroom result in improved learning outcomes for students. This is because digital learning solutions make it easy for instructors to execute lesson plans and gather results in a format that drives desired outcomes.

Learning outcomes

In college classrooms across the country, instructors are witnessing the effectiveness of MindTap® in improving academic outcomes and engagement in today’s courses, as well as its ability to transform today’s students into critical thinkers. The data from these instructors’ courses demonstrates Read More…


How to Check College Students’ Understanding

In the second half of the term, it’s vital to ensure that all of your students are keeping up with the material. Without actively checking progress, some students  might not realize there are holes in their comprehension until they see a final grade on an important exam. Strategic learners know that the time to assess their understanding of a concept or material is before taking a test, and it should be an ongoing practice.

Paraphrasing

According to Svinicki and McKeachie, in the text McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, 14th Edition, checking students’ understanding can be as simple as having them try to paraphrase or apply what they’ve been learning. For example, trying to paraphrase in our own words what we are reading in a textbook is a good way to help build meaning, but it also helps us to identify gaps or errors in our understanding. If we try to apply our knowledge and have difficulty using it, or if we try to explain it to someone else and cannot do it, we would also know that we have some comprehension problems. Monitoring our comprehension is an important part of strategic learning that fosters self-regulation. Only if we know we have a problem in our understanding or a gap in our knowledge can we do something about it. (299)

 Cooperative learning

Another helpful way to assess your students’ understanding is with cooperative learning, which helps teach a variety of learning strategies. McKeachie explains cooperative learning as a method that builds on peer tutoring: We have long known that in many traditional tutoring situations the tutor, not the student receiving the tutoring, benefits the most. While processing the content for presentation, the tutor is consolidating and integrating his or her content knowledge. At the same time, the tutor is also learning a great deal about how to learn. The tutor needs to diagnose the tutee’s learning problem, or knowledge gap, in order to help the tutee overcome it. (299) For more tips on how students can utilize cooperative learning techniques in the classroom, visit our post “College Study Habits: Note Sharing Read More…


Why Digital: Digital Tools Improve Learning Outcomes

Well-defined learning outcomes help educators design their course and determine the best use of technology, improving student success. Our studies have shown that digital learning tools in the classroom result in improved learning outcomes for students. This is because digital learning solutions make it easy for instructors to execute lesson plans and gather results in a format that drives desired outcomes.

Digital in the classroom

Within the past few years, advances in digital learning solutions have increased the options available to instructors. The challenge for instructors has evolved from simply incorporating a digital solution into their classroom into how to best leverage the myriad options available Read More…


Creating Learning Objectives that Fit Your Course

When creating learning objectives for a course, instructors have a lot of options to consider. In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, instructors revealed that they tend to track multiple learning outcomes. The following graph shows eleven themes instructors use in the process of creating learning objectives specifically suited for their courses.

Instructors' primary learning outcome themes

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