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Best Practices in the Use of Learning Outcomes in Chemistry Education
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Physical Chemistry.
Uppsala University, University Board and Chief Officers.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Molecular Biomimetics.
The University of Sydney.
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2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Guiding chemistry education for the future requires the exchange of perspectives on core knowledge, skills and competencies. Learning outcomes-driven chemistry education is increasingly practiced, providing new opportunities for international comparisons. The interest in intended learning outcomes and constructive alignment has grown in many parts of the world due to both research in higher education [1] and political decisions (e. g. the Bologna process in Europe). 

We have developed a method for learning by sharing and comparing best practice of the use of these outcomes, to enhance learner-centered chemistry education both in the developed and developing countries. As a starting point, the overarching guidelines for chemistry education in Europe, North America and Australia were compared and discussed, with awareness of varying circumstances and terminology, which is necessary for this project to be useful in different settings. In focus were chemistry-specific and transferable skills as well as some higher order thinking skills (including aspects of conceptual, procedural and metacognitive knowledge [2]) rather than content and factual knowledge.

The overarching guidelines were in turn compared with local learning outcomes for chemistry education at several universities. We evaluated how learning outcomes for courses and modules were linked to each other and to learning outcomes for educational programs. Furthermore we discussed how the expected learning outcomes were aligned with learning activities and assessment. A tool was designed to facilitate this, and used for self-analysis at the involved universities.

We conclude that the method has promising features and can be used to elucidate the correspondence between learning outcomes at different levels, and the constructive alignment between learning outcomes, learning activities and assessment. A full electronic report and manual for the benchmarking procedure will be produced at the conclusion of the project, including a collection of examples of good/best practice for dissemination.


  1. J. B. Biggs      and C. S. Tang, Teaching for quality learning at university: what the      student does. (Open University Press, Maidenhead, 2011).
  2. L. W. Anderson      and D. R. Krathwohl et al., Taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing      – A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives (Longman, New      York, 2001)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228263OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-228263DiVA: diva2:733240
44th World Chemistry Congress
Available from: 2014-07-08 Created: 2014-07-08 Last updated: 2014-07-08

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