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.

Learning Objectives

  • 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.