A learning outcome describes what students should be able to know or do upon completion of a lesson, module or unit, course, program, or credential. It may describe the knowledge, skills, or attitudes learners will achieve over the course of the learning, depending on which domain of learning is being addressed: cognitive, psychomotor, or affective (Krathwohl and Bloom, 2002). A learning outcome must be demonstrable and assessable. An effective learning outcome ideally consists of the following: an action verb, a content area, and criteria or conditions for achievement of that outcome.
Well-designed course learning outcomes can clarify your expectations for students by indicating the following:
- What is most important in the course
- Material on which they will be assessed
- How that assessment might occur