Working with Learning Objectives
Within the Cirrus platform you can easily add Learning Objectives to any item to help you create assessments that include the correct question criteria to help evaluate your learners progress and competency levels. Learning Objectives help you to use the right questions to assess or evaluate your learners progress or level.
This article will handle the following topics:
- What are Learning Objectives?
- Organisation of Learning Objectives in Cirrus
- Application of Learning Objectives in Cirrus
- Evaluating Learning Objectives
- Frequently Asked Questions on Learning Objectives (FAQ)
|Tip: searching for content based on certain Learning Objective(s) is currently on our Roadmap. Feel free to mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.|
A learning objective relates to the ability, skill, attitude, understanding or knowledge that a candidate is expected to learn or achieve at the end of a specific course or instruction. In other words: “that what a student is expected to learn”. [Wiktionary]
Inversely, it describes what an item (a question) aims to assess and can also be used by authors (teachers) to measure how well they’ve succeeded in in teaching their learners on specific topics. [Wikipedia]
It helps both students and teachers to make progress measurable and provide insights on the learning material and learning approach. [See Centre for Teach Excellence].
“Usually an educational objective relates to gaining an ability, a skill, some knowledge, a new attitude et cetera rather than having merely completed a given task.” [Wikipedia].
The uniform structuring and the carefully thinking on your organisation's goals and the related Learning Objectives is vital. Depending on the level of granularity they can be shared between colleagues of the same department or on the same subject matter. Also see the article on 'Setting Learning Objectives' by the Center for Teaching Excellence of Cornell University.
Cirrus offers you full flexibility when organising your Learning Objectives. They are organised in repositories and grouped in so-called Subjects. Cirrus offers the option to
- Publish / depublish sets of learning objectives that are no longer in use.
- Set which users can what Learning Objectives - especially useful for large organisation with a diverse portfolio.
Read all about this in our article on 'Management of Learning Objectives in Cirrus'. You can build your own structure, bearing in mind the following:
|Repository||Highest level: contains groups of Folders|
|Folder [optional]||Used to organise subjects, for example educational segment|
|Subject||Contains a set of Learning Objectives that share the same context (for example "Biology")|
|Category [optional]||Used to organise Learning Objectives within a subject. For instance 'Critical Thinking and problem solving' or 'Level I Biology'.|
|Learning Objective||The actual goal that can be used to plan, assess and report on. To be assigned to items and used as criteria when assembling your assessments.|
You can easily import Learning Objectives using an Excel sheet as source file.
Alternatively you can manually create Learning Objectives via Admin > Learning Objectives.
Please note that when manually adding Learning Objectives to a repository you will need to provide a required / mandatory ID for each Learning Objective. This is OK if you’re adding the odd individual Learning Objective, if you need to add more we recommend using the import of Learning Objectives.
Application of Learning Objectives in Cirrus
The Learning Objective(s) is part of the item settings when editing the item. See assigning a Learning Objective to an item.
Please read all about this in our article on 'Reports: using the the Score Report'.
A learning objective can only be assessed on the basis of the activity related to the questions (items) linked to that learning objective. You can evaluate this per session (aka booking): for the group of learners that participated in that particular assessment.
At the individual candidate level, a Score Report can be enabled per exam - giving feedback to candidates and/or their teachers on how well they performed on the specific Learning Objectives within a given assessment. A non performing Learning Objective can mean a change to the educational plan: do I need to teach or explain differently so students will perform better. You can also check the wording of the Learning Objective, to check wether it is it concrete and measurable using for example this checklist by the Center for Teaching Excellence.