Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Connecting Course Concepts To Course Objectives

Undergraduate students often struggle to “see the point” of what is being taught in a
class, which can lead instructors or TA’s to feel frustrated about how to articulate course
rationale and help students meet learning objectives. Specifically, this problem appears
twofold: 1) students often struggle to see the purpose of assigned work and have trouble
transferring skills from one assignment to the next, and 2) as instructors or TA’s we
expect students to able to perform the learning objectives listed in the syllabus, yet find
difficultly in assessing the extent to which students have met (or even understood)
certain learning objectives.
The proposed strategy is to integrate smaller activities throughout the semester to
review course objectives, and also ask students to reflect on (in writing or discussion)
connections that can be made between core concepts and assignments they have
completed and the actual course objectives.

Goss, Margaret
DC, English