I’m using the intended learning outcomes of the course I’m teaching in Jan/18 in the Human Service Program (Working with People Who Use Substances). I believe the learning outcomes reflect high-level cognitive skills.
a) Identify self-awareness of personal addictions values and attitudes and articulate a professional value stance consistent with social service work.
b)Describe the etiology and prevalence of alcohol and drug use in Canada.
c)Describe the models used to understand chemical dependency
d)Understand and define the basic terms and classification systems of alcohol and drugs.
e)Describe key components of effective and ineffective prevention strategies
f)Identify and utilize a variety of screening and assessment tools that identify addiction risk
g)Describe key concepts of motivational interviewing.
h)Describe the continuum of alcohol and drug treatment resources and interventions.
i)Identify the advantages and disadvantages of using harm reduction strategies.
j)Understand relapse prevention and its role in alcohol and drug recovery.
k)Identify key components of 12 step groups such as A.A.
l)Assess ethical issues and obligations when working with alcohol and drug issues
Student learning is assessed in this course through a combination of deconstruction/reconstruction of value/belief journalling and reflection paper, journalling and reflection paper of process experience, a research essay, a midterm quiz, and hands-on in class practise activities.
I believe the intended learning outcomes and the assessments are aligned as the variety of methods to assess student engagement to learning and their understanding of the different concepts allow for a deep level of cognitive process that would enhance the level of student learning outcome.
When I’ve taught this class before, I found such learning outcomes that pertain to learning or memorizing fact (ie: d)Understand and define the basic terms and classification systems of alcohol and drugs OR h)Describe the continuum of alcohol and drug treatment resources and interventions) appeared to be more regurgitated within the students’ writing versus a concept that was understood at a deeper level. When I think about the learning outcomes that seem to be more ‘memorized facts’ versus those that require deeper thinking to attain – as an instructor, I would like to incorporate ways to make these facts meaningful. I believe the instructor needs to have a deep approach to teaching (rather than a surface approach) just as the learner does with their approach to learning. When I think in terms of a deep approach to teaching, when it comes to ‘factual’ concepts – these need to be relational in teaching methods (ie: connect to similar concepts, provide ‘live’ examples ect.). Therefore, if we wanted to allow the learning outcome to lean more towards a relational response we would look at including it connecting to ‘life’ examples or comparison concepts (ie: To understand and define the basic terms and classification systems of alcohol and drugs and relating them to local or national issues pertaining to addiction or overdose).