The two questions that faculty in programs must answer are the same that they address when identifying learning goals for their courses:
- What do I want students to know?
- What do I want them to be able to do when they graduate with a degree in this field?
Program learning goals help faculty plan the curriculum, assess coherence and sequencing, and evaluate the learning of majors. In addition, they signal the department’s disciplinary identity and provide a common language that students, faculty, and staff share. This common language can facilitate communication and build bridges among various departmental services for students, such as advising and instruction.
Use of learning goals helps departments think about curriculum. When learning goals are defined, departments and programs can determine the courses that address each goal. Curricular maps can reveal desired and undesired redundancies, overlaps, and gaps in programs for majors.