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Cognitive Learning Objectives And New Educators:Techniques For Navigating The Early Years And Ec2000

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.146.1 - 5.146.7

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Douglas G. Schmucker

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1675

Cognitive Learning Objectives and New Educators: Techniques for Navigating the Early Years and EC2000

Douglas G. Schmucker Valparaiso University


The current engineering education environment presents many challenges to the new engineering educator including simultaneously navigating outcomes-based accreditation, learning how to teach, and conducting technical and/or educational research. Although obscured at times, learning is the ultimate desired outcome of each of these. This paper describes techniques for using cognitive learning objectives to both enhance and measure student learning, i.e., student achievement of course and program outcomes. These techniques may not require significant additional time on the part of the instructor. Rather, preparation time may even decrease. These techniques have been learned by the author through participating in various NSF, ASEE, and ASCE sponsored teaching workshops during the past four years. In particular, this paper summarizes Bloom’s Taxonomy for cognitive learning objectives, describes how to use these for writing both course and lesson objectives, how to organize and design course work consistent with the stated objectives, and then use these objectives as a guide for measuring student learning.

I. Introduction

Of the many challenges that a new engineering educator faces, learning to teach is but only one. The challenge of learning how to teach while simultaneously learning how to conduct research and then to do so while implementing new accreditation procedures need not be considered an impossible hurdle or obstacle. Rather, this is a time of great opportunity, a time when the landscape of engineering education is facing significant and observable changes.

Effective communication is obviously one hallmark of effective teaching. In the past four years, this author has participated in and assisted with various NSF1, ASEE2, and ASCE3 sponsored teaching workshops. At each of these workshops, cognitive learning objectives and their use was mentioned as a critical element of effective communication in the classroom.

Surrounded by but not directly involved in EC2000 matters, this author learned via these workshops and personal experience in the classroom how cognitive learning objectives could be used to enhance student learning, optimize lesson preparation, and become the basis for the measurement of student performance. Now that this author is directly involved with EC2000 matters, it seems a simple rather than difficult challenge to develop program educational

Schmucker, D. G. (2000, June), Cognitive Learning Objectives And New Educators:Techniques For Navigating The Early Years And Ec2000 Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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