Each lesson plan or teaching activity you develop for your Street Law program should include learning outcomes. Learning outcomes state what students will know or be able to do as a result of a lesson plan or activity. They can be expressed as knowledge, skills, or attitudes.
Learning outcomes are important because they help law student-instructors organize the overall course and plan the individual activities and assignments that enable the outcomes to be accomplished. Plus, they help students know what to expect, what is required of them, and recognize what they will be able to do at the end of an activity.
Any overall program outcomes you’ve established for your Street Law program should be considered when developing learning outcomes for individual lesson plans/activities. You can learn more about developing program outcomes in the Evaluation section.
Developing Learning Outcomes
Effective learning outcomes are
- Relevant to student needs
- Consistent with the Street Law mission: teaching practical law content that students can use in their everyday lives
- Able to clearly and specifically communicates an action and impact
- Achievable in terms of time and resources
To get started, ask yourself the following: What do I want students to be able to think, do, or feel as a result of this lesson/activity?
For example, a lesson on judicial nominations might include the following learning outcomes:
- As a result of this lesson, students will be able to
- Explain the politics and political processes of court appointments
- Interpret and analyze relevant charts
- Hone and refine essay composition skills
The outcomes for a lesson on the constitutionality of health care reform could be:
- As a result of this lesson, students will be able to do the following:
- Explain how the “individual mandate” relates to the stated purposes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- List arguments for both sides: that the Commerce Clause allows Congress to require that all individuals purchase health insurance or pay a penalty; and that the mandate exceeds the power granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause
- Rank arguments for each side in terms of persuasiveness
The following action words can help you clearly state your lesson's learning outcomes:
||conduct, lead, facilitate
||develop, construct. design
|negotiate, mediate, manage
Adapted from materials developed by Margaret Fisher and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.