Robyn's Words

#IDEALA Week 1 Part 2 Questions for Formulating Significant Learning Goals


Step 2. Worksheet

Questions for Formulating Significant Learning Goals

From A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning (L. Dee Fink)

“A year (or more) after this course is over, I want and hope that students will remember that libraries are more than dusty books on shelves, and that internet searching is more than Google.”

Even though I give very specific tips and strategies, and very specific sites I know will help the student in this course, I don’t expect them to remember everything I say.  What I would like them to remember is that the Library can provide help to them, and a little thought before & during a search can go a long way.

Foundational Knowledge

In the future, I want students to remember the strategies presented to find reliable/authoritative information, and how to determine if an information source IS reliable/authoritative, etc.

During their course, I want them to understand that the library’s mission is to support them and their mission- our job is to help find reliable, authoritative information.  The library is here to help them develop strategies to find reliable/authoritative information, determine its quality and relevance, and to provide information and productivity resources that have been vetted for them through the  through the library, military, government, etc.

Application Goals

Critical thinking is important , in which students analyze and evaluate information and sources, and this will in turn aid practical thinking in the overall course, in which students are learning to solve problems, make decisions, and manage complex projects.

Important skills students need to gain are:

  • Identifying potential sources for information and productivity
  • Conducting effectively-designed searches
  • Assessing quantity, quality and relevance of search results and information
  • Understanding copyright, documentation styles, and source citing

 (Objectives adapted from ALA


Integration Goals

I’d like students to connect the ideas that the library and the internet are great tools (in work and life)- but it can be an even GREATER tool when used strategically and thoughtfully. They can provide tools to increase productivity and workflow, which frees up the student for thinking critically and making connections between information.

Human Dimensions & Caring Goals

I’m unsure about these goals- they may become clearer as the course continues.

“Learning-How-to-Learn” Goals

I’d like students to come away with the idea that  taking time to plan research and to critically think about sources will make them better students, as well as better  communicators of information.

3 thoughts on “#IDEALA Week 1 Part 2 Questions for Formulating Significant Learning Goals

  1. I like the way you phrased your integration goals–I think I might steal them! Particularly thinking about using library resources strategically–that is a great point.

  2. The human dimensions & caring goals are really just personal value attributes and internal motivational factors (for instance, your year-long goal of valuing libraries could be considered a caring goal). They won’t necessarily be something you can control, just another way to think about your learners’ perspectives in the class. An interesting one-shot to do! Grad students can be a tough crowd; your theatre background should come in handy!

  3. I really like how you put one of your goals for your students: “a little thought before & during a search can go a long way”. It is something we, librarians, are taught as part of the reference interview. I’m with you in believing that it is also important to teach that approach to our customers.

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