When asked where categories were seen on this college campus, I could not think of a place where categories weren’t seen. One example would be how students are divided up based on living location, whether it be on or off campus. A subcategory for on campus students would be by residence hall. Not only with living situations, students are also divided by class year, age, involvement on campus (clubs and organizations), as well as major.
As being part of a college community, the Learning Outcomes for SUNY Geneseo are separated into eight subcategories labeled Critical Thinking, Communication, Quantitative, Computational, and Symbolic Reasoning, Information and Digital Literacy, Creativity and Creative Thinking, Leadership and Collaboration, Diversity and Pluralism, and lastly, Global Awareness and Engagement.
I believe it is impossible for all students to have the same skills to the same degree. Instead, all these outcomes tend to be a variety on a spectrum due to the student’s background, major, and even just life experiences. Some students may have the same skill set pertaining to a particular learning outcome, but may have retrieved them differently, whether it be inside or outside the classroom. Level of involvement also plays a role in being a “well-rounded” student as each person learns differently as well as to different extents.
These Learning Outcomes immediately made me think of objectives that I write for my lesson plans in my education classes. I am required to state what specifically the student will do with a reference to Bloom’s taxonomy and then state how I will assess my students in order for me to know and accept that the objective has been reached. As I read the Learning Outcomes, there were no specific directions on how Geneseo students will reach these outcomes. It is assumed they “just will” by attending class. It is unclear to what extent as well, due to each student being a different major but also taking various different classes; also seen as a form of categorization–separation by class enrollment.
Categorization is also seen when discussing storms and placing them into specific groups identifying by the strength of the wind measured in miles per hour and the amount of damage ranked from minimal to catastrophic as explained by The Saffir-Simpson Scale. It gives a clear reasoning for the distinction between the categories, based on strength, compared to the unclarity of how to reach the Learning Outcomes. There is no clear distinction or “test” to declare that a student has successfully achieved the outcome(s).
I would like to make it clear that I am not disrespecting the Geneseo Learning Outcomes but I do wonder if they intentionally were written for the student to interpret them as they please or if there is a way to assess if the outcomes have successfully been achieved. The GLOBE specifically intrigued my interest because each student will gain something new and different from their undergraduate college experience yet the outcomes are unifying the entire student body by saying those eight goals will be accomplished by all students at its entirety and is therefore, not seen on a spectrum.