Writing effective learning outcomes
Learning outcomes are statements of what students CAN DO as a result of a learning experience. The statements focused on student learning rather than our teaching. Learning outcomes can be broadly categorized in three different types:
Attitudes (Knowing “why”)
Skills (Knowing “how”)
Knowledge (knowing “What”)
How do I write learning outcomes statements?
Effective learning outcomes statements should be student-centered and ideally contain three parts:
Behavior: an action verb that describes what students can do as a result of a learning activity
Condition: an environment or situation under which the behavior or performance is to be displayed
The level of achievement expected: each learning outcomes should be measurable and include the level of achievement expected.
At course level: On successful completion of this course, you will be able to [action verb] + [activity].
At Program level: On successful completion of this program, a graduate of [name of program] will be able to [action verb] + [activity].
Outcomes are about performance, and this implies:
- There must be a performer – the student, not the teacher
- There must be a performable act (thus demonstrable or assessable)
- The focus is on the product, rather than the process