Page 21 - Learning & Teaching Model
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Royal Roads University has been using program and course learning outcomes since its inception in 1995. Outcomes
play a central role in the design of programs, the  ow of courses, and the assessment of learning within those courses. Within the context of the university, the goal of the learning outcomes approach is to assist students to acquire, integrate, and apply the requisite learning so that it may be transferable to an applied, professional context. Therefore, in many ways, the RRU outcomes-based approach is a promise to students, employers, and external quality reviewers that graduates
will have demonstrated competency in key areas identi ed
in their programs.
A learning outcome is a statement of what the student
is expected to know, or be able to do, at the end of his/her study (Battersby, 1999; Driscoll & Wood, 2007; Stiehl & Lewchuk,
2002). At RRU, learning outcomes describe the knowledge
and skills that graduates will attain upon completion of their course or program of studies. Some programs use the term “competencies” to describe the combination of knowledge, skills, performance tasks, and behaviours that have been agreed upon as being highly desirable in the workplace.
The outcomes-based approach is a means of focusing speci cally on what students should be learning, not what content should be ‘covered’ or what the intended focus of the course ‘should
be’. Learning outcomes can bring transparency, fairness,
and  exibility to the process of curriculum design, delivery, and assessment.
Learning outcomes are important because they:
• Make explicit the purpose of the course or module;
• Help instructors select and design materials more effectively
by providing a framework for instruction;
• Ensure that assessments are based on the competencies,
knowledge, and skills delivered;
• Help instructors select assessment and teaching strategies
that are matched to the outcome(s);
• Provide a “level playing  eld” regarding the assessment
of learning in multiple-cohort courses or programs;
• Provide a means for relatively consistent assessment
practices across different faculty members teaching
the same course;
• Allows faculty to assess whether or nor learning has occurred
through conducting several assessments, over time, against the learning outcome usually in the form of one or more ‘formative’ assessments prior to a ‘summative’ assessment of learning for a given course;
• Help anchor the teachable “content” of the course;
• Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills to practical
applications in the workplace and everyday life; and
• Provide  exibility in changing or adapting course content
to better meet the needs of the students (Battersby, 1999; Fink, 2003; Nilson, 2010; Stiehl & Lewchuk, 2002).
All the programs at RRU are designed and delivered using
an outcomes-based or competency-based approach. Nevertheless, a unique characteristic of the university
is that the outcomes-based model has evolved in different ways within different programs to customize the outcomes model to their unique needs. This distinction is important here because the
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