Aligning Outcomes, Assessment and Activities

          I am a constructivist teacher, therefore I give my students an opportunity to be constructivist learners while in my class. I want to give my students a learning environment in which they experience hands-on projects, have access to all tools necessary to complete a project, and are allowed to put their personal philosophy and feelings into their work.

          My innovation plan is to have all my Art I students create a digital portfolio to share their artwork, concepts, ideas, and concerns about art with others all over the world. This will help both our students and myself keep up with their progress, their growth, and most of gears-1443730_960_720all give them an avenue to have their artwork viewed. We have to begin integrating technology into our projects/lessons if we want to keep our students involved and learning to their full potential. My students will benefit greatly from having an e-portfolio. Having the students create one will give them control over how they display what they are learning and it will allow me to easily see if they are mastering the skills they should be. The students that continue to take art throughout their high school years will really benefit from their e-portfolio because they will be able to add to it every year they take art. For example they will have a page or tab for each year they take art. They will be able to add pictures of their artwork to show their growth and change through the years.

          In order to make my innovation plan work I must have goals for my students. The goals should  be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time based (Cline, 2012). They have to be specific so the students knows what is expected of them. They must be measurable so the teacher will know if the students are reaching their goals. The students have to be able to eventually reach the goals. The goals can’t be too far out of reach for the students. They must also be time based, there has to be a designated time in which the goals must be reached. These goals are a small piece of the puzzle though. They fall under a much larger overarching goal that extends throughout a course and sometimes beyond.  

           L. Dee Fink’s, A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning, provides a good starting point for teachers to create a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). The BHAG should include everything the teacher would like the students to gain or learn from the project with no constraints from testing, financing, or anything else that would hinder the teacher or students from succeeding. Fink (2003) points out that “this process starts at the “end” of the learning process and works “back” toward the beginning”(p. 7).  Creating learning outcomes/goals should be done first then derive a way to reach them. After reading Fink’s work and conversing with my peers I have come up with a BHAG that I want to implement for my students. This will undoubtedly be adjusted, but for now:   

Students will take responsibility of their work and demonstrate knowledge of fine art by creating personal pieces of traditional and digital artwork to add to their e-portfolio in a hands-on learning environment while incorporating prior experiences with what they are currently learning.


          That is my overarching goal for the future. I will show you below in a 3 column table, that was derived from L. Dee Fink and Dr. Dwayne Harapnuik, how I plan to make my BHAG a reality through learning goals, learning activities, and assessment. The firstfinks-taxonomy column in the table contains the student-centered learning goals. This column starts with the foundational goals, which are the basis for the application goals, integration goals, human dimension and caring goals, then progresses to the final goals for learning how to learn. All of these goals are crucial for the student to be successful in a self-directed learning environment. The learning activities are simply the way students can reach their learning goals. The learning activities should urge the student to set goals for themselves, be self-disciplined, responsible, and incorporate imagination into their learning process. The assessment activities should be thorough, well planned, and student-centered in order to understand if the students are really grasping the goals.



Cline, John (2012) Creating Successful Learning Objectives.

Definition of Mosaic by Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Fink, L.D. (2003) A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Harapnuik, D. (2016, June 13). Why you need a BHAG to design learning environments [Web log post]. Retrieved June 7, 2016 from


2 thoughts on “Aligning Outcomes, Assessment and Activities

  1. Pingback: Color Theory is Awesome | Technology in art

  2. Pingback: Bringing it All Together | Technology in art

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