At our first Open Forum of Fall 2015, we received some questions about why we are beginning our process with expected student learning outcomes. While best practices make is a good idea, the fact that the Obama Administration plans to pressure accreditors into greater focus on learning outcomes means it is absolutely essential for us to construct our new liberal education program around quality outcomes.
As proficiency-focused learning like the DQP model become more widespread in higher education use, the ability to assess based on specific skill sets and knowledge bases become possible as well. Learning outcomes also encourage students to think beyond the individual classes they take during a given semester and expand their knowledge in multidisciplinary areas. Finally, a focus on outcomes lets creative faculty members and departments develop new ways to meet those outcomes as they update their general education courses for the future.