Writing Effective Learning Outcomes

Outcomes are measurable goal statements and can be categorized in two ways: 

ATU icon for student learning outcomes

Learning outcomes, often referred to as student learning outcomes or SLOs, are results-oriented measurable goal statements that

  • describe what a student will be able to know, think or be able to do after completing a program of study.
  • help students know what to expect to learn in a program, class, or lesson. 
  • help make assessment of the program, class, or lesson manageable and consistent.

 Example: After completing this lesson, learners will be able to identify four components of effective learning outcomes. 

ATU icon for operational outcomes

Operational outcomes are process-oriented measurable goal statements that

  • describe what an administrative unit will accomplish in a set timeframe,
  • help us to know if we are meeting our mission, and
  • guide us to improve future work efforts. 

Example: During the next academic year, the tutoring center will increase the number of tutoring sessions by 20%. 

The process for writing effective outcomes is similar for both categories:



Writing Effective Outcomes

  1. What are Outcomes?
  2. SMART Goals
  3. Bloom's Taxonomy
  4. Bloom's Verbs
  5. Review
  6. Quiz

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