With the Fall semester about a month away (eek!), many faculty are turning their attention to refreshing their courses and preparing their syllabi. This is an opportune time to repost my thoughts on course-level student learning outcomes, which the ABA requires us to publish to our students. Much ink has been spilled on what verbs are proper to use in our learning outcomes; as I noted in August 2016, I hope that we in legal education can take a more holistic view.
The new ABA standards are largely focused on programmatic assessment: measuring whether students, in fact, have learned the knowledge, skills, and values that we want them to achieve by the end of the J.D. degree. This requires a faculty to gather and analyze aggregated data across the curriculum. Nevertheless, the ABA standards also implicate individual courses and the faculty who teach them.
According to the ABA Managing Director’s guidance memo on learning outcomes assessment, “Learning outcomes for individual courses must be published in the course syllabi.”
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