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Communicating Expectations | Learning Outcomes at Seneca | Seneca College

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Communicating Expectations

Communicating Expectations

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From an instructor’s perspective, course learning outcomes guide assessment methods, which occur at the end of a teaching and learning sequence. However, in the fourth edition of their book, Teaching for Quality Leaning at University, Biggs and Tang (2011), quote Ramsden (1992) when they reiterate that, from the student’s perspective, assessment always defines the actual curriculum. This means that students will learn what they think they are being tested on. Therefore, it is not only important to make sure that learning outcomes align with assessment methods, but also to explicitly communicate this to students. The downward arrow in the figure below stresses that if learning outcomes are embedded in assessment methods, then the teaching activities of the instructor and the learning activities of the student are both aligned towards the same goal.

For Learning Outcomes to align with assessment, students must see the direct link between teaching activities and assessment.
Adapted from Teaching for Quality Leaning at University, 4th ed., Biggs and Tang, 2011.

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