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Crafting Learning Objectives for WIM Courses

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Learning objectives give your courses focus and purpose. And when you share them with TAs and students, then all have a shared vocabulary to describe the work of the course.

Some General Advice

  • Combine specific and general statements
    • E.g.,In this course students will become familiar with the central theories of personality by writing a review article that …
  • Include the learning method. In other words, explain to yourself and to your students how the learning will happen.
    • Skills of critical thinking will be fostered through …
  • Imagine yourself as a student in your class. How will the central goals of the class be articulated in ways students will understand before they have the disciplinary language and knowledge you expect them to have by the end of the course?

Sample Learning Objectives

In this WIM course, students will develop:

  • practical knowledge of an academic research tradition important to the program or major
  • an ability to read and respond to scholarship in the field
  • an understanding of what counts as evidence and reasoning in the field and how it can be effectively represented on the page and outloud
  • an understanding of what counts as an answerable question in the field
  • an understanding of writing conventions important to disciplinary readers, at the level of the sentence and argument organization
  • an understanding of major genres in the field
  • a willingness and ability to respond to reader feedback and to revise their writing substantially
  • an awareness of conventions of oral argument in the field
  • an awareness of how visual, oral, and written arguments may work together in an argument in the disciplines
  • an ability to integrate their own languages and traditions into disciplinary writing contexts