WRITING Effective Outcomes


What are Outcomes? 

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


Operational outcomes are process-oriented measurable goal statements that

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


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

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


Here are four key components of effective outcomes:

  1. Audience - Who does your outcome pertain to?
  2. Behavior - What do you expect students to be able to do or know?
  3. Condition - Under what circumstances will learning be demonstrated?
  4. Degree - How well will the behavior need to be performed and to what level?

Watch this informative video from ATUs College of eTech's Professional Development Video Series. The first video focuses on goals (outcomes) and assessment.

Finally, here are several things to consider when creating outcomes: 

  1. Are they consistent with the university mission, program mission, or course description? 
  2. Are they clearly stated? Too many words or concepts becomes confusing and difficult to assess.
  3. Are they written in SMART format (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely)?
  4. Do they use measurable verbs that describe learning expectations? Use “explain” vs “appreciate”; “describe” vs “understand”; “demonstrate” vs “be familiar with”. See our Bloom's Taxonomy page for more about this. 


Check your understanding of outcomes...

"Learners" are the audience for the first two. The tutoring center is the audience for the last outcome.
  • Select four components of effective outcomes.
  • Summarize four considerations of effective outcomes.
  • Increase tutoring sessions.

These are specific and can be measured. 

For the first two, learning is demonstrated after completing the lesson. For the last, achievement would be measured after the next academic year. 
For the operational outcome, the answer is pretty straight-forward; increase by 20%. What's your guess for the first two outcomes? Let's take a look at Bloom's Taxonomy next to help answer this question. 


Writing Effective Outcomes

  1. What are Outcomes?
  2. Bloom's Taxonomy
  3. Writing outcomes

 Assessment Academy