The Learning Outcomes Primer is a quick guide for writing or revising Learning Outcomes.
What are Learning Outcomes?
- Learning outcomes are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity.
- Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills or attitudes.
What do Learning Outcomes do?
Learning Outcomes describe the academic standards against which learners and college programs will be assessed & academic credit will be granted.
Why Focus on Learning Outcomes?
- Make learning visible
- Are learning centered
- Make it clear what the students can hope to gain from a particular subject (or lecture)
- Help us to explain more precisely the value of a particular lesson, assessment or activity
- Help students to learn – they know where they stand, what they need to know and do to be successful
- The curriculum is made more open to everyone
- Ensure that appropriate strategies are being used
- Facilitate conversations about learning
Learning Outcomes vs. Learning Objectives
Sometimes there is confusion between the terms Learning Outcomes and Learning Objectives.
- Outcomes describe over-arching goals students will be able to demonstrate by the end of the subject or program of study.
- Objectives describe skills, tools or content that a student will use or acquire throughout the semester, and as a means to an end, in achieving subject learning outcomes.
- define the specific steps in the subject learning process that support each learning outcome
- are the building blocks to support attaining the learning outcomes
- outline what needs to be covered (the topics, concepts, etc.) in order for the students to be able to achieve the outcomes
The Importance of Learning Outcomes
- All aspects of teaching and learning are aligned with the subject outcomes.
- Teaching strategies, learning activities and resources are all designed and organized to help learners achieve the subject learning outcomes.
As you write each outcome, make sure they are SMART.