Helpful tips to write Learning Outcomes for your courses!
After studying this page, you should be able to:
- Define course goals.
- Define learning outcomes.
- Define the categories (domains) of learning outcomes.
- Identify the levels within these categories.
- List the ALARMS criteria for effective learning outcomes.
- Explain why assessments have to be linked to learning outcomes.
- Discuss the preferred number of learning outcomes for a course.
- Use the checklist to write effective learning outcomes.
Click through the drop downs for a Learning Outcome “How to”!
A Checklist for Writing Learning Outcomes
Use the following checklist to help you as you write Learning Outcomes.
When writing learning outcomes, I need to:
1. Focus on outcomes, not processes.
2. Start each outcome with an action verb.
3. Use only one action verb per learning outcome.
4. Avoid vague verbs such as know and understand.
5. Check that the verbs used reflect the level of learning required.
6. Ensure that outcomes are observable and measurable.
7. Check that all learning outcomes fit the ALARMS criteria.
8. Write the outcomes in terms of what the learner does, not what the instructor does.
9. Check that the outcomes reflect knowledge, skills, or attitudes that are relevant and required in the professional field.
10. Include outcomes that are woven into the entire course (such as work effectively in teams).
11. Check that there are the appropriate number of outcomes (no more than three per major topic).
12. Check that you have appropriate course goals.
Note: Remind students of the Learning Outcomes for each unit!
You may want to use a feature, such as Checking Your Understanding at the end of the unit for students to do a self-check.
This document is based on:
- Writing Learning Outcomes, BCIT, LEARNING RESOURCES UNIT3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC, V5G 3H2, http://www.lru.bcit.ca
and was adapted by Franzi Ng, EdD, Instructional Designer, Open Learning. March 2014