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About Learning Outcomes

About Learning Outcomes

By Katherine Baeckeroot

Learning outcomes are specific statements that describe what the learner should know, understand, or do after taking a course. They provide concrete, measurable ways for learners to show what they learned by taking the course.

Strong learning outcomes are:

  • Measurable
  • Observable
  • Achievable within a given time frame

To develop robust learning outcomes, there are a few aspects that must be considered. Learning outcomes are typically complete sentences that begin with an action verb and end with a description of what needs to be learned. In some situations, you might also include the required level of achievement.

Anderson and Krathwohl’s revised Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a framework for developing learning outcomes according to the functions of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. By using these functions, you have a comprehensive list of strong action verbs that can be used to describe measurable and observable learning outcomes.

Use this formula to author your learning outcomes:

Learning outcome formula

Adapted from https://www.coursemapguide.com/learning-outcomes

Depending on the goals of your course, learning outcomes assess the learners' ability to:

  • Remember information by recalling facts, basic concepts, and procedures
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a subject matter by explaining, summarizing, identifying, or locating information
  • Apply information learned to new situations by solving problems, implementing solutions, or operating a system
  • Analyze information by breaking down content, illustrating concepts, or experimenting with ideas
  • Make conclusions by judging and interpreting information
  • Use information to design, develop, or produce ideas or solutions

References

Armstrong, P. (2010). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. (2021, February 8). https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/

Course Learning Outcomes. Course Map Guide. (n.d.). https://www.coursemapguide.com/learning-outcomes.

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