Assessing your course goals at the end of semester - what is your approach?

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Course goals are typically a prominent part of your course syllabus and guide course organization, content, assessment and evaluation.   We all have university generated course and instructor evaluations that go out to our students - but rarely are these tailored to individual course goals.   A few semesters ago I began surveying students (anonymously) asking for feedback on how well they felt the course did in meeting course goals.   I also asked if they had suggestions for adapting or editing course goals for future semesters and students.   It was gratifying to take a look at the course goals myself and feel that my students did leave the course with a better grounding in nutrition and were better equipped to evaluate nutrition in the media and marketplace - but was very helpful to get their perspective.   Would love to hear ways you seek student feedback beyond the university generated evaluation.   As an FYI, here are the course goals for my introductory nutrition course at Vanderbilt.   Look forward to hearing from you!    Open the post and use the "Reply" button at the bottom of the screen.  

COURSE GOALS: At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

1. Appreciate the scope and complexity of the evolving science of nutrition.

2. Discuss the role of each of the six classes of nutrients in the maintenance of health.

3. Describe how dietary recommendations for Americans are established, evaluated, implemented and applied to meet individual dietary needs, promote health, and prevent chronic disease – and how they compare to food based guidelines from around the globe.

4. Describe the fundamental role of nutrition and food choice in prevention and treatment of select diet-related chronic diseases.

5. Discuss factors that affect nutrition and health status of individuals across the lifespan with corresponding intervention strategies.

6. Analyze controversies or claims surrounding one or more contemporary nutrition issues on the basis of scientific evidence and nutrition theory.

7. Identify ways individuals can assess, evaluate, and implement strategies that promote a healthy and safe diet.

8. Discuss how all foods can fit within an overall healthful diet. A goal of this course is to lessen and lighten food related "rules" and dogmatic thinking surrounding dietary practices and approaches through a better understanding of nutrition principles and application.

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About the Author
Jamie Pope, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University, has worked in the areas of obesity research, health promotion, heart disease prevention, and since 2000 teaching introductory nutrition. Beyond the classroom, she adapted portions of her nutrition courses to produce a Massive Open Online Course attracting more than 175,000 participants from around the world. This experience earned Jamie an Innovation in Teaching award from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is the co-author of the textbook entitled Nutrition for a Changing World. Now in its second edition, the text is in use in over 140 universities across the U.S. and the recipient of a 2020 Textbook Excellence Award. Most recently she developed and produced an audio course for (Nutrition 101: Understanding the Science and Practice of Eating Well) that is also featured on platforms like Apple Books and Audible. Jamie holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition and post graduate work in Health Psychology. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jamie is an active member and serves on the board of the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. She has authored or contributed to numerous scientific and popular press publications. Jamie also held several corporate positions, serving as nutrition consultant and media representative.