Creating Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes describe what students are able to demonstrate in terms of knowledge, skills, and values upon completion of a course, a span of several
courses, or a program. Clear articulation of learning outcomes serves as the
foundation to evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process.

The Components of a Measurable Learning Outcome.

Three essential components of a measurable learning outcome are:

    • Student learning behaviors
    • Appropriate assessment methods
    • Specific student performance criteria / criteria for success

When writing a measurable learning outcome, it is important to:

    • focus on student behavior
    • use simple, specific action verbs
    • select appropriate assessment methods
    • state desired performance criteria

Focus on Student Behavior. Learning outcomes are about what students are able to demonstrate upon completion of a course or a span of courses or a program. Learning outcomes are not about what the instructors can provide but what the students can demonstrate. The following are not learning outcomes:

    • Offer opportunities for students to master integrated use of information technology. The program will engage a significant number of students in a formalized language/cultural studies program.
    • Students who participate in critical writing seminars will write two essays on critical thinking skills.
    • Students will be exposed to exceptionality in learning disabilities including visual and perception disabilities.
    • Use Simple, Specific Action Verbs.When writing learning outcomes, focus on student behavior and use simple, specific action verbs to describe what students are expected to demonstrate.

The wording should be something as follows:

followed by details.”

The following are examples of learning outcomes:

    a. Collect and organize appropriate clinical data (history, physical exam, laboratory assessments including technology advancements in diagnostic such as PCR).
    b. Apply principles of evidence-based medicine to determine clinical diagnoses, and formulate and implement acceptable treatment modalities.
    c. Articulate cultural and socioeconomic differences and the significance of these differences for instructional planning.
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