Although you probably have some very definite ideas about what you would like your students to know and be able to do at the end of your course, you also need to consider:
- The demands of the industry for which you are preparing students
- Skill standards for your industry
- Learning standards in place for your program
Many students enter technical programs with specific career goals in mind. You can help these students focus on what they need to succeed in the workplace.
Take a few moments and imagine your students in the kinds of jobs for which they are preparing. What will they need to be able to do? What skills, knowledge, and behavior will be expected of them as they perform their jobs?
Write down an initial list of ideas, focusing on three or four broad outcomes you see as most important in your industry.
Now refine your list. You might:
- Talk to others in your field who can give you new perspective on the kinds of things students should know and be able to do in order to succeed in the workplace.
- Do some research. Even if you've been working in the industry for 20 years or more, your outlook may be limited by the particulars of your company or situation.
- Talk to your college program director or department chair about whether your program has industry partners.
- Determine the industry expectations for students who graduate by attending or reading the minutes from an industry advisory board meeting.
- Search help-wanted ads in a local newspaper or online job bank. If your students are preparing for jobs as chemical plant technicians, for example, help-wanted ads will list sample skills. A class assignment could have students find ads and review them together.