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Curriculum Map of Learning Outcomes and Learning Processes



About WISR’s Core Learning Outcomes

–See Curriculum Map for Graphic Depiction of How these Learning Outcomes are pursued throughout a student’s WISR’s studies, through different processes in the learning in various courses throughout each student’s WISR studies.

This Narrative, along with the accompanying Graphic Curriculum Map, explains WISR’s rationale and approach to how program learning outcomes are used in conjunction with five layers of thematic learning processes throughout WISR’s curriculum, and in all degree programs. These themes are guided by WISR’s mission and values, and are a significant factor in what attracts students and faculty to participate in WISR’s degree programs. The result is a coherent and well-integrated curriculum, and one that is different from many curricula made up of a series of not well-connected courses. By contrast, the learning in, and articulated outcomes of, each course is viewed by faculty and students with an continual awareness of a the themes depicted in the Curriculum Map, and upon which our Program Learning Outcomes are based.

Essentially, there are core Learning Outcome Areas for Each Degree Program–outcomes that are unique to the degree program and the subject matter of that degree program, and 6 areas are thematically the same for all programs, but the “level” of expectations and specific outcomes (and indicators of those outcomes) for each outcome are progressively and increasingly sophisticated from MS to EdD, and this developmental progression is conceptualized and guided by the Dreyfus Theory of Expert Knowledge—and WISR’s use of the Stages of Expertise as defined by the Dreyfus model contributes to our articulation of learning outcomes and indicators in each degree program, so that the outcomes in each area become increasingly sophisticated and advanced, as is appropriate in the progression from MS outcomes to EdD outcomes. In addition, we have used Bloom’s taxonomy to articulate different “levels” of learning among the Program Learning Outcomes–from “understanding” to “applying” and “evaluating” and finally to “creating.” 

Further, throughout each student’s studies, there are five different “layers” (or types) of learning processes operating concurrently.  Each layer or “type of process” has different consequences for how program learning outcomes and course learning outcomes are used.

[Based on WISR’s 6 thematic areas, and quite importantly, the 7th area of outcomes that are specific to the unique content and goals of each degree program.]

The graduate will*:

1.     Demonstrate skills as a self-directed learner

2.     Demonstrate skills and knowledge of participatory and action-research

3.     Demonstrate a multicultural, inclusive perspective.

4.     Demonstrate skills and knowledge related to social change, and matters of social justice, equality and environmental sustainability. 

5.     Be able to write well, communicate clearly and collaborate with others. 

6.     Build bridges to the next important things they wish to do in their lives, so that they can pursue employment opportunities and / or community involvements, appropriate to their specialized capabilities, experience, and interests. 

In addition:

7.    Most importantly, the unique Program Outcomes, specific to the unique content and goals of each degree program.

*Different Levels of Skills and Knowledge Required for Different Degree Programs, with learning outcomes guided by the Dreyfus Model of Knowledge and Skill Development (see #7 above). The different levels of knowledge and skill development expected are guided by the Dreyfus Model, and result in different specific goals, learning outcomes, and objectives and indicators for each of the above Learning Outcome Areas, and for each degree program–MS in Education and Community Leadership, Ms in Psychology/MFT, and EdD in Higher Education and Social Change. 

Five Layers of Processes Characterize Five Different Ways in Which Degree Program Learning Outcomes guide and assess Student Learning Throughout the Program

–See Curriculum Map for Graphic Depiction of How Degree Program Learning Outcomes are pursued throughout a student’s WISR’s studies in five different ways/processes, during the learning in various courses throughout each student’s WISR studies.

When creating and using program outcomes, the following institutional outcome themes are considered.

1. Self-Directed Learning

2. Action-Research

3. Writing / Collaboration

4. Multiculturalism

5. Social Change / Justice

6. Building Bridges to the Future

7. The Unique Goals and Content Requirements for Each Degree Program


Layer One: The first three themes are pursued in each course (or in the case of action-research, in most courses at least).

Layer Two: The second three themes are often considered throughout numerous courses, as is the case with Layer Three, where the student’s pursuit of one or more area(s) of specialization is considered often and throughout the student’s studies.

Layer Four: The Learning Outcomes for the Unique Requirements and Goals for each Degree Program are specified as the Course Learning Outcomes in the Core, Required Courses for the Degree Program, and further aided by any elective courses.

Layer Five: Throughout each student’s studies, they are guided and expected to develop a higher level of expertise in their field of study. Specifically, WISR faculty guide and assess student learning based on the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition. This model is based on the concept of learning through a combination of learning and experience. There are five developmental stages of learning associated with this model: novice, competence, proficiency, expertise, and mastery. Therefore, indicators related to the desired stage of learning are intertwined into each outcome. Program outcomes are defined by the student’s developing stage of expertise as defined by The Dreyfus Model of Expert Knowledge for each degree are:

MS Education and Community Leadership —Competent

MS Psychology/MFT – Competent

EdD Higher Education and Social Change -Proficient

Degree Programs–Learning Goals, Outcomes, Measures