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
- 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%.
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.
Here are four key components of effective outcomes:
- Audience - Who does your outcome pertain to?
- Behavior - What do you expect students to be able to do or know?
- Condition - Under what circumstances will learning be demonstrated?
- Degree - How well will the behavior need to be performed and to what level?
Finally, here are several things to consider when creating outcomes:
- Are they consistent with the university mission, program mission, or course description?
- Are they clearly stated? Too many words or concepts becomes confusing and difficult to assess.
- Are they written in SMART format (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely)?
- 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...
- After completing this lesson, learners will be able to identify four components of effective outcomes.
- After completing this lesson, learners will be able to summarize four considerations of effective outcomes.
- During the next academic year, the tutoring center will increase the number of tutoring sessions by 20%.
- Select four components of effective outcomes.
- Summarize four considerations of effective outcomes.
- Increase tutoring sessions.
These are specific and can be measured.
Writing Effective Outcomes
- What are Outcomes?
- Bloom's Taxonomy
- Writing outcomes