What are Learning Outcomes?

Learning outcomes are statements of what a student is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning.

How it’s determined?

Learning Outcomes determined considering goals and objectives of courses of program.

The Goal (Aim) of a module or programme is a broad general statement of teaching intention, i.e. it indicates what the teacher intends to cover. (i.e. To give students an introduction to organic chemistry)

The objective of a module or programme is a specific statement of teaching intention, i.e. it indicates one of the specific areas that the teacher intends to cover. (i.e. Give students an appreciation of the unique nature of carbon and it ability to bond to other carbon atoms)

Students and graduates are most important stakeholders on determination of learning outcomes

  • Student course evaluation questionaries,
  • Student and graduate surveys,
  • Success of Students
  • Failure Rates
  • Compare with similar institustiona
  • Program Analyze

There are some important ground rules for the formulation of learning outcomes:

Use Active Verbs: It should be ensured that active verbs are used in the formulation of learning outcomes. Below are suggested verbs to use when creating student learning outcomes for a course or degree program.

Verbs that can be used under the descriptor “knowledge”:

define, describe, identify, label, list, name, outline, express, remember, select, determine, present, have knowledge of, gather, classify, explain, write, recognise, measure, emphasise, repeat, report, know, match

Verbs that can be used under the descriptor “skills”:

draft, infer, analyse, alter, apply, argue, assemble, itemise, split, demonstrate, express, choose, influence, substantiate, provide examples, name, report, describe, designate, judge, assess, present, diagnose, discuss, illustrate by example, conduct, classify, categorise, assign, discover, design, develop, elucidate, recognise, explain, calculate, compile, expand, tell, manufacture, evaluate, produce, find, conclude, formulate, contrast, devise, generate, question, indicate, identify, illustrate, integrate, interpret, clarify, criticise, teach, praise, solve, modify, rearrange, recreate, rewrite, use, arrange, organise, plan, practice, justify, regulate, represent, collect, create, appreciate, deduce, write, refer to, structure, synthesise, divide, separate, test, translate, shape, rephrase, outline, paraphrase, differentiate, investigate, subdivide, transform, visualise, connect, compare, verify, defend, utilise, predict, prepare, display, project, suggest, select, appraise, show, summarise

Verbs that can be used under the descriptor “competence”:

lead a team, instruct trainees, act independently, monitor work processes, assume responsibility


  • Students will be able to compare & contrast in writing theory X and theory Y.
  • Students will be able to write in scientific language about important questions in XYZ.
  • Students will be able to think critically and create solutions to problems based on learned content.
  • Students will recall the content and make inferences on key important points.
  • Students will be able to select correct interpretations and solutions to conceptual problems.
  • Students will be able to present a topic of study in a field-specific language.
  • Students will demonstrate team work skills.
  • Students will demonstrate ability to critique, present, and show applications of research in the field as presented through articles published in professional journals.

General Rules and Advices About Learning Outcomes

  • Begin with an action verb and describe something (knowledge, skill or attitude) that is observable or measurable.
  • Use one action verb for each learning outcome.
  • Focus on what you expect students to be able to demonstrate upon completion of the module.
  • Be addressed in some way by the assessment for the module.
  • Be written in clear short sentences.
  • Be written to be understood by students, colleagues and external bodies.
  • Be free of ambiguous words and phrases.
  • Be neither too broad nor too specific – broad is at programme level, specific at lecture level.
  • The key word is DO and the key need in drafting learning outcomes is to use active verbs.
  • Learning Outcomes are statements describing observable behaviour and therefore must use ‘action verbs’… Words like “appreciate” and “understand” do not help students because there are so many interpretations of their meaning. It is more transparent and helpful to be specific about expectations.
  • Avoid verbs like “know”, “learn”, “understand”, “be familiar with”, “be exposed to”, “be aware” and “appreciate”.
  • 4 to 8 short sentences are reasonable for a course or program.
  • Be sure that you can measure the outcomes you set.
  • Write the sentences in a language that students (and those outside the field) will be able to understand.
  • Usually Learning Outcomes are not content-specific. That is, learning outcomes do not describe the topics/content the students will study in the course, but the skills students will demonstrate after successfully completing the course.
  • Learning Outcomes should focus on the overarching concepts, skills, abilities, behaviors, or attitudes that students will present at the end of the course.

Linking Learning Outcomes, Teaching and Learning Activities and Assessment:

Learning Outcomes Teaching and Learning Activities Assessment
Cognitive(Demonstrate, Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation) Affective(Integration of beliefs, ideas and attitudes) Psychomotor(Acquisition of physical skills) LecturesTutorialsDiscussionsLaboratory workClinical workGroup workSeminarPeer group presentation


End of module exam.Multiple choice tests.Essays.Reports on lab work and research project.Interviews/viva.Practical assessment.Poster display.Fieldwork.

Clinical examination.




Project work.

Production of artefact etc.


Outcome Process

  1. Determine goals and objectives of module
  2. Write learning outcomes according to standart procedures
  3. Develope teaching and learning strategies that will reach students to learning outcomes
  4. Design an evaluation method to test realisation of learning outcomes
  5. Redetermine content of module and evaluation accordimg to feedback (Go Back to step 1)
Focus on outcomes, not processes
Write the outcomes in terms of what the learner does, notwhat the instructor does
Start each outcome with an action verb
Use only one action verb per learning outcome
Avoid vague verbs such as “know”, “learn”, “understand”
Ensure that outcomes are observable and measurable
Check that there are the appropriate number of outcomes
Check that the outcomes reflect knowledge, skills, orattitudes required in the workplace
Check that the outcomes fit within program and course goals
Include outcomes that are woven into the entire course
List the sub-outcomes for each outcome


Learning outcomes Teaching and Learning Activities Assessment
10 credit module
Mark = 200

  • Recognise and apply the basic principles of classroom management and discipline.
  • Identify the key characteristics of high quality science teaching.
  • Develop a comprehensive portfolio of lesson plans
Lectures (12)
Tutorials (6)
Observation of classes (6) of experienced science teacher(mentor)
End of module exam.
Portfolio of lesson plans
(100 marks)

  • Display a willingness to co-operate with members of teaching staff in their assigned school.
  • Participate successfully in Peer Assisted Learning project
Participation in mentoring feedback sessions in school (4)
Participation in 3 sessions of UCC Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Programme.
Peer group presentation
Report from school mentor
End of project report.
(50 marks)

  • Demonstrate good classroom presentation skills
  • Perform laboratory practical work in a safe and efficient manner.
Teaching practice
6 weeks at 2 hours per week.
Laboratory work
Supervision of Teaching Practice
Assessment of teaching skills
(50 marks)