SLOs for a Real Education

Karl Fisch, The Fischbowl, Aug 28, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This post links to a new podcast from Michael Wesch (which I've already added to Ed Radio). Wesch is quoted: "we have to help them achieve all this within a bureaucratic structure that demands that we frame our goals in a few neat bullet points at the top of our syllabus in a section called: Student Learning Outcomes, often called SLOs." Here are the SLOs Wesch really wants to write:

  1. Ask questions that burn in their soul and take them farther than they ever thought possible.
  2. Open themselves up to others and new experiences, to challenge their taken-for-granted assumptions
  3. Cross rivers of doubt and conquer mountains of fear to set themselves free.

Stripped of the adjectives, this is actually a pretty good set of outcomes: ask questions, be open to new experiences, and conquer one's fears. Fisch comments, 'I wonder why it is that we shy away from discussions around outcomes such as these, and obsess over measuring how our students do on discrete, isolated skills that very few of them will ever need to actually use."

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