In May 2014, Hofstra Law adopted a policy regarding Learning Outcomes. The Policy was adopted for a number of reasons, including (1) a desire to help ensure that the Law School was offering courses strategically designed to meet the needs of our students, and (2) a desire to help students make more informed choices in selecting their courses, thereby enabling them to locate those courses in the curriculum that best suit their particular needs.
Certainly no one course can expect to address each and every Learning Outcome identified by the Law School. Rather, the hope and expectation is that by the time a student graduates, having fulfilled 87 credits worth of coursework at the Law School, each and every one of these Learning Outcomes will have been achieved in some form along the way.
Starting in fall 2014, course syllabi will begin to include a section identifying the learning outcomes for their courses. These will be modeled upon the outcomes adopted by the Law School, and customized as appropriate. Please note that instructors are encouraged, but not required to include this information in their syllabi. As such, some course syllabi might lack a learning outcomes section.
Also starting in fall 2014, the Law School will maintain a bank of current and past course syllabi organized by instructor and course name. Although syllabi are subject to change, it is unlikely that the learning outcomes for a given course taught by a particular instructor will change dramatically from one year to the next. For that reason, the Law School encourages its students to consult the syllabus bank as they go about selecting their courses for an upcoming semester. Students should attempt to take courses that list as outcomes those objectives that the student has yet to meet, or that address areas in which the student would prefer to develop even greater proficiency.
Each faculty member is encouraged, but not required, to include a list of “learning outcomes” as part of the course description in the online Curriculum Guide and in the course syllabus distributed to students. The list of learning outcomes may include one or more of the outcomes from the Law School’s adopted list, as well as any additional learning outcomes identified by the faculty member for the particular course. Students should be able to use these goals statements to help make course selections and in framing their expectations for the course in conjunction with the Law School’s system of course selection advisement. For those faculty members who choose to identify learning outcomes, the Dean’s Office will, at the faculty member’s option, add a question to the course evaluation asking students whether they think the learning outcomes as stated by the faculty member have been addressed.