The Learning Organization™ defines intended learning outcomes as:
"Statements of what we intend for students to be able to do outside the classroom (in context) with what they have learned. Unlike "competencies" SLOs are short, broad descriptions requiring an extensive base of skill and understanding." *
Deb Gilchrist, in the training she provided for us in Fall 2007, used the following prompt to help us articulate learning outcomes:
"What do we want students to do OUT THERE (at work, in a transfer program, in their personal lives) that we are responsible for IN HERE (course, program, college)?"
In addition she advised that we begin learning outcomes statements with action verbs (see Bloom's Taxonomy) and integrate the phrase "in order to" as an exercise in why the outcome is important. An example:
Communicate confidently in order to collaborate effectively in the workplace.
For more help developing effective learning outcomes, see:
- Writing Program-Level Outcomes
- Writing Course-Level Outcomes
- Getting from Program to Course-Level Outcomes
*Ruth Stiehl and Les Lewchuk. The Outcomes Primer, 3 rd ed. Corvallis, OR: The Learning Organization, c2007. LB2361.5.S751 2007. p. 43 - Seattle Central Library Reserves.