How to Write Learning Outcomes – Rules of Thumb!

How to Write Learning Outcomes - Learning Resource

How to Write Learning Outcomes – Learning Resource

At the MAGNET project meeting at Danube University Krems in February 2018 I held a short introduction for the project team on how to write learning outcomes. This is important for as we want to design a curriculum for the MAGNET Migrant Entrepreneurship Academy together as team of multiple partners and subject matter experts. This requires the expertise of the partners responsible for the training but also expertise in instructional design.

I advise the project team on how to write learning outcomes in a transparent and understandable way, based on EU Guidelines (I am mostly referring to the CEDEFOP Guidelines 2017) and created a learning resource with summaries, explantions and exercises: How to Write Learning Outcomes – Learning Resource.

What is a Learning Outcome?

According to CEDEFOP (2017, p. 23)

“Learning outcomes state what a learner is expected to know, be able to and understand at the end of a learning process or sequence. The way such outcomes are defined and written orients teaching and learning, and influences the quality and relevant of education and training. The way learning outcomes are defined and written matters to individual learners, the labor market and society in general.“

There are chances, but also threats when using learning outcomes, I discussed this a few weeks ago on my blog: Learning Outcomes – Chance of Threat for Education? Also in the How to Write Learning Outcomes learning resource I summarized chances and threats.

The Verb – Super Important for Writing Learning Outcomes

Choosing the right verb for your learning outcome statement is one of the most important things. Bloom’s revised taxonomy can help here. Check out this explainer video to learn more about the cognitive processes and verbs to use in learning outcomes:

Avoid Amigous Verbs

It truly helps to avoid ambigous verbs like to know, to understand, to enjoy, to be aware of, to become familiar with and so on. Rather choose verbs based on Bloom’s revised taxonomy, Peter Baumgartner and I give a list of example verbs you could use to refer to key verbs of the cognitive domain.

Your Experiences

What are your experiences with writing learning outcomes? Which methods did you use? Or did you rather write learning objectives, not learning outcomes? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below! 🙂

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