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Develop Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Course Design

Last modified: August 12, 2022

Clear, measurable learning outcomes focus on student learning and aid in course alignment.

Write Effective Learning Outcomes

Effective learning outcomes should be measurable. They should indicate a task that students will be able to perform in order to be considered masters of the material. Consider the following examples:

  • Students will know the difference between major poetry movements of the 1960s.
  • Students will be able to classify unfamiliar poems and defend their choice of classification based on the characteristics of the major poetry movements of the 1960s.

The first example uses the verb "know" which is difficult to measure and doesn't specify an action by which to measure the knowledge. No clear direction of instruction is given in the first example.

The second example uses the action verbs "classify" and "defend". There is also a specific task by which the student's mastery of the material will be evaluated. The focused nature of the second example suggests an arc to the course that will align naturally with the assessment of classifying poems according to their characteristics.