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Abstract

Learning outcomes assessment and alignment contribute to the transparency, quality, and progression of a program. We set forth a learning outcomes framework that aligns learning outcomes at the course, major, program, and university levels. Senior undergraduate students were recruited to analyze assessments from eight core courses required for Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) majors at the University of Guelph. This analysis was conducted to achieve two goals: (a) to develop tools to assess learning outcomes in the MCB Department, and (b) to incorporate insights shared by the student perspective. Almost 1,600 Individual questions and their attributes were coded, compiled, and linked into the learning outcomes framework. The students then connected the questions to course concepts and assigned a cognitive domain indicated by Bloom’s Taxonomy level. After training and calibration, two undergraduate students evaluated all questions in the eight core courses with an average of 93.2% ± 1.6% (n=8) agreement between evaluators. These data were used to generate assessment profiles for individual courses and as an aggregate to provide insights regarding the program. This work makes constructive use the learning outcomes framework and illustrates the importance of leveraging undergraduate student perspectives in discussions of learning outcomes in higher education.


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