Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Defining and Classifying Learning Outcomes: A Case Study

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Defining and Classifying Learning Outcomes: A Case Study

Article excerpt


Since implementation of the Bologne process, the curriculum has become a focus of attention of European Universities, within in the context of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the Bologne Process. European Higher Education Institutions, inserted the context of the EHEA and the Bologna process, have organized their curricula so as to conform more to the guidelines patents in the Bologne Declaration. In Portugal, the Decree-Law nrs. 49/2005: Subsection IV 2005, 74/2006, 65/2006 and 107/2008 regulate these guidelines.

The mobility and employability of students in EHEA are goals advocated by Bologne since 1999.

The mobility of high quality contributes to the expansion and academic exchange and transfer of knowledge and innovations. Mobility is essential to ensure higher quality education and is also an important pillar for exchange and collaboration with other parts of the world (EHEA, 2012).

Thus, it is necessary to create a coherent, compatible, competitive and attractive space for students and teachers, not only Europeans as well as third world countries, where teaching and research can be shared.

The development of tools for comparing curricula is of special interest in the EHEA context because it has the potential to promote the improvement of the syllabus of different educational institutions and allow these to harmonize with the demands of the labour market and international trends in corresponding sectors of the economy, which, in turn, may increase the overall quality of education, and in particular, facilitate the mobility of students. On 23 April 2008, the Presidents of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union signed the Recommendation on the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF), being formally adopted (Appendix A).

The purpose of this article is to develop, systematize and describe the study that aims to identify and classify the Learning Outcomes (LO) of the Course Units (CU) of a scientific area of a course in Business Sciences, based on competences and LO extracted from official documents, in the areas of Education/Information Management applied to Web and Educational Technology.

Structurally the article is divided into seven sections. After describing the concepts, the problem, the objectives and the investigation questions are defined. Then, the research strategy is presented in order to achieve the objectives and the results obtained. Finally, the conclusions and proposals for future work are presented.

Definition of Concepts

There are many and diversified definitions that exist in the literature for the word curriculum. In our opinion, perhaps the most consensual is the definition presented by Ribeiro (1996)--curriculum is a "structured plan and sequence of teaching and learning, which includes objectives, contents, strategies, activities and learning evaluation, covers different scopes (macro or micro), relates to contexts (formal or informal) and educational experiences (explicit or implicit) in school."

To define the concept of LO we adopt the terminology used in the European Commission (2008), "increasingly used by Member States", in accordance with CEDEFO (2010). The European Commission (2008) defines LO "as what a learner knows, understands and is able to do" on completion with success of a learning process, described in terms of knowledge, skills and competences, of which:

* Knowledge, also designated as "Knowledge & Understanding" (UCE Birmingham, 2006), the result of assimilation of information through learning. Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices related to an area of work or study.

* Skills, also designated as "Intellectual (thinking) Skills" and "Practical Skills (subject-specifics)" (UCE Birmingham, 2006), the ability to apply knowledge and use resources acquired to complete tasks and troubleshoot, to describe themselves as cognitive skills (including the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical skills (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments). …

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