Intended Learning Outcomes: Who are they intended for?

You are here

Research and Development in Higher Education: Next Generation, Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and Opportunities Vol. 42

March, 2020, 125 pages
Published by
Eva Heinrich & Roseanna Bourke

In Higher Education organisations within Singapore, Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) are written from students’ perspectives to help them gain clarity of what they should be able to do by the end of the course. Much of the rigour of the Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) approach is contingent on developing observable and well-written ILO with the expectation that students will use them to guide their own learning. This paper explores the experience at the Nanyang Technological University, where the education strategy 2020 includes the OBTL initiative, which requires all courses to be re-designed based on constructive alignment. Our paper reports on one study of the impact of OBTL on student learning. Using a mixed methods approach in a quasi-experimental design, we collected data on student experience of course clarity pre and post OBTL, and their perception of the importance of ILO in their own learning. Our surveys (N=196) indicate that although students perceive a significantly higher level of clarity post-OBTL, they remain doubtful about the use of ILO to guide their own learning. In this paper, we present and discuss these findings to uncover reasons behind students’ attitudes towards ILO.

Keywords: Outcomes-Based teaching and Learning, Impact Study, Curriculum Design, Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)