Aligning Outcomes, Assessment and Activities

As an example course for integrating iPad into Fine Arts programs, the production of a digital multimedia story should help instructors demonstrate the efficacy of iPad as a tool for supporting a significant learning environment. The ability to support these types of courses with iPad will help guarantee success of the innovation Plan.

3-Column Table

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) – Overarching Course Goal:

Learners will be able to produce a digital story of an aspect of their local community.

Learning Goals Learning ActivitiesAssessment Activities
Learners will become better storytellers while understanding unique aspects of the local communityParticipation in group discussions on subject materials.

Research to gain understanding of local subject and their relation to the community 
Use foundational knowledge in class assignments and reflective reviews
Learners will utilize active listening communication and writing within the context of local storiesInterview a person, visit a location or attend an event relevant to the learners chosen subject in the community.

Produce a record of research and interviews related local story
Reflect on the learners new found knowledge and experiences.

Share research records for peer review.
Establish the connection of the learners chosen subject with current culture in the community Create media presentations on selected subjects.

Assemble a storyboard to create a narrative that conveys relevance.
Submit completed media presentation, storyboard and records for review.

Reflect on effectiveness of presented storyboard
Human Dimensions/Caring
Increase awareness and involvement in the local communityRecord interviews relating to the chosen local subject 

Attend local events to provide context to community changes
Class presentations and discussions

Reflective experience papers addressing social impact of subject on community 
Learning to Learn
Become better information seekers and identify unique aspects of their community 
Organize and analyze information from multiple resourcesProduce media project

Explore ongoing interest in digital storytelling 

Download PDF -> 3-Column Table

Learning Environment & Situational Factors to Consider

1.  Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation

How many students are in the class?  Any number, but larger courses should be separated into smaller groups.

Is the course primary, secondary, undergraduate, or graduate level?  Undergraduate

How long and frequent are the class meetings?  Weekly

How will the course be delivered: live, online, blended, flipped or in a classroom or lab?  Depending on the facilities and positioning of the course it can be live, online, flipped or live. Depending on the equipment available it my need a lab environment.

What physical elements of the learning environment will affect the class? The learning environment is intended to be supported technically by the iPad for student centered, ubiquitous access, social networking and blended activities.

What technology, networking and access issues will affect the class? Without iPad, the students may not have access to tools, software and key portions of the significant learning environment. Also, limited internet access my effect the ability to interact t with the social collective, access resources, submit work and reflect or assess.

2.  General Context of the Learning Situation

What learning expectations are placed on this course or curriculum by: the school, district, university, college and/or department?  the profession?  society?  The university will expect the course to meet specific learning outcomes. The implied professions will expect a level of understanding and ability to reproduce similar activities while collaborating creatively with team members. Understandable and relative content to society.

3.  Nature of the Subject

Is this subject primarily theoretical, practical, or a combination?  Practical

Is the subject primarily convergent or divergent?  Convergent

Are there important changes or controversies occurring within the field? Ubiquitousness of Technology has broadened the definition and overall category of digital story telling.

4.  Characteristics of the Learners

What is the life situation of the learners (e.g., socio-economic, cultural, personal, family, professional goals)?  The learners can have a very diverse array of situations, but all will have reached the college undergraduate level and most will have professional goals similar to other content creators.

What prior knowledge, experiences, and initial feelings do students usually have about this subject?  Most students will have an preconceived idea of digital story telling based on terminology presented in apps like Instagram and YouTube.

What are their learning goals and expectations? Their goals should be to understand how to compile information on a subject and construct a digital story using the capabilities of the iPad.

5.  Characteristics of the Teacher

What beliefs and values does the teacher have about teaching and learning?  The teacher should believe in active learning activities and allow students to have choice ownership and voice of authentic learning.

What is his/her attitude toward:  the subject? students? The instructor should see themselves as a partner to guide and assist the learners to complete activities to achieve the learning goals.

What level of knowledge or familiarity does s/he have with this subject?  General understanding of the local community and knowledge of story construction.

What are his/her strengths in teaching?  Strengths should include both creation of narratives and adept use of iPad applications for creation of media content.

Download PDF -> Learning Environment & Situational Factors to Consider

Questions For Formulating Significant Learning Goals

“A year (or more) after this course is over, I want and hope that students will .”

Be able to… 

My Big Harry Audacious Goal (BHAG) for the course is:  Learners will be able to produce a digital story of an aspect of their local community.

Foundational Knowledge 

  • What key information (e.g., facts, terms, formulae, concepts, principles, relationships, etc.) is/are important for students to understand and remember in the future?

Research to gain understanding of local subject and their relation to the community and the processes for creating a digital story

  • What key ideas (or perspectives) are important for students to understand in this course?

Learners will become better storytellers while understanding unique aspects of the local community when telling stories from the perspective of the subject.

Application Goals

  • What kinds of thinking are important for students to learn?

Critical thinking, Creative thinking and Practical thinking.

  • Critical thinking, in which students analyze and evaluate

Learners will review the information they have recorded and determine the relevance to the story they are preparing to present.

  • Creative thinking, in which students imagine and create

Creative choices of how to present the collected and learned information.

  • Practical thinking, in which students solve problems and make decisions

Learners will need to decide how they will incorporate their data into a digital multimedia project and the workflows for completing the project.

  • What important skills do students need to gain?

Learners will need to gain skill in listening recording and applying the information they acquire from their chosen subject

  • Do students need to learn how to manage complex projects?

Yes, learners should be able to manage time, recorded data and possible team interaction.

Integration Goals 

  • What connections (similarities and interactions) should students recognize and make…:
  • Among ideas within this course?

Learners should be able to connect the ideas of digital storytelling to future subjects.

  • Among the information, ideas, and perspectives in this course and those in other courses or areas?

Learners will be able to relate the informations and perspectives collected to better understand how to produce digital content for other projects.

  • Among material in this course and the students’ own personal, social, and/or work life?

Learners will choose the subject that most interests them. The connection will help them understand and relate to their own understanding of their local community.

Human Dimensions Goals

  • What could or should students learn about themselves?

Learners should understand their role in the local community based on the activities of the course.

  • What could or should students learn about understanding others and/or interacting with them?

Learners should understand that different people have an array of perspectives and respect those points of view regardless of preconceived ideas.

Caring Goals

  • What changes/values do you hope students will adopt?

Feelings? Feelings of belonging to their local Community.

Interests? Students may adopt an interest in digital storytelling and the unique aspects of the world around them.

Values? Appreciation for the role of everyone in the overall organization of their environment and the importance of recording and sharing stories.

“Learning-How-to-Learn” Goals

  • What would you like for students to learn about:
  • how to be good students in a course like this?

Good students in the course will be able to evaluate and assemble their collected data into an interesting digital media presentation.

  • how to learn about this particular subject?

Learners will research, visit, interview and/or attend events supporting the subject they have chosen.

  • how to become a self-directed learner of this subject, i.e., having a learning agenda of what they need/want to learn, and a plan for learning it?

Once the learner determines the story they will present they will need to plan on how they will acquire the needed data for the project and how they will support the information presented.

Download PDF -> Questions For Formulating Significant Learning Goals

After reading this page, please continue to the Understanding by Design page.


Fink L. (2003) Creating Significant Learning Environments: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass

Freed M. Example of a Well-Designed Course in: Music/Regional Studies. Retrieved from,

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