Writing Learning Outcomes
1. Begin with a measurable action verb.
2. Follow with a description of content knowledge or skill.
Use Blooms Taxonomy which identifies six level of measurable educational outcomes.
- Avoid broad terms such as learn, understand, appreciate, and demonstrate knowledge. These terms are not specific enough to measure.
- Select the highest level verb. Attainment of lower level verbs are assumed.
- Outcome Example: Define and critique art movements from the Renaissance. If a student can critique (a high level on Bloom’s aligned with justifying a stand or a decision), then it is assumed that a student can define (at the lowest level on Bloom’s aligned with recall). Therefore, only Critique is needed in the outcome.
- Select or instead of and.
- It is recommended to select or instead of and. When a list is provided in an outcome connected with “and” all items are expected to be assessed. This means the one outcome may actually be 10 or more outcomes in one written statement.
- Outcome Example: Analyze aesthetic, social, cultural, and historical art movements from prehistory through medieval time periods
- This is actually 4 or more outcomes.
- The way this is written it is expected that faculty will assess if students are able to:
- Analyze aesthetic art movements from prehistoric through medieval time periods
- Analyze social art movements from prehistoric through medieval time period
- Analyze cultural art movements from prehistoric through medieval time periods
- Analyze historical art movements from prehistoric through medieval time period.
- The or provides freedom from assessing every attribute of a multiple outcome.
- Developing instructional strategy
- Selecting instructional materials
- Constructing tests and other instruments for assessing and evaluating
- Improving curriculum
- Clear to the student & instructor
- Integrated, developmental, transferable
- Use discipline-specific competencies/standards
- “In order to” gets to the uniqueness and real world application of the learning
- Use a variety of Bloom’s Taxonomy levels
5 things to consider when designing courses
- What do you want the student to be able to do? (Outcome)
- What does the student need to know in order to do this well? (Curriculum)
- What activity will facilitate the learning? (Pedagogy)
- How will the student demonstrate the learning? (Assessment)
- How will I know the student has done this well? (Criteria)
- Video: A Practical Guide to Assessment Module 2b: Basic Elements for Developing Student Learning Outcomes and Basic Elements for Developing Student Learning Outcomes PPT
- Article: Writing Outcomes
- Article: Steps to Writing Student Learning Outcomes- adapted from Basic Elements for Developing Student Learning Outcomes
- Article: The Role of Learning Outcomes in an Accreditation Quality Review – Beno (2003)
- Article: Learning Outcomes Assessment in Community Colleges – Nunley, Bers, and Manning (2011)
- Article: Quick Writing Learning Outcomes
- Checklist: Outcomes Review Checklist
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