VISTAS Counselor Education and Supervision

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Learning Outcome Based Assessment With Counseling Courses: In Pursuit of Active Assessment

Linda. D. Taylor and Steven Harlow


Intended learning outcomes and corresponding aligned assessment tasks and teaching activities are increasingly being used in order for students to achieve deeper levels of learning and understanding. It is a convenient and practical way of maintaining standards and of improving teaching (Biggs & Tang, 2007). Shuell (1986) indicates that it is the teacher’s fundamental task to get students to engage in learning activities that are likely to result in achieving learning outcomes, recognizing that what the student does is more important than what the teacher does. As cognitive science has revealed again and again, active involvement by students enhances long-term retention (Martinez, 2010). Accordingly, assessment that calls for active engagement should contribute to long term memory and deeper processing. The goal of teaching is to encourage students to adopt a deep approach to learning (Biggs, 1989). The deep approach to learning reflects that students have the intention to understand the material not just requirements, interact with the content instead of rote memorization, relate new ideas and concepts to previous knowledge and experience, relate evidence to the conclusion, and analyze the logic of the argument (Entwistle & Waterston, 1988). Deep learning can be facilitated and measured through learning outcome-based teaching and assessment.

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