Student learning outcomes are what the students will be able to do with what they know.
If you do not already have satisfactory learning outcomes for your course, department, or program, here are some questions you might ask yourself and/or your colleagues to develop appropriate and meaningful learning outcomes. Note that many of the questions overlap; the intent in including all of them is to increase the odds that one or more of them will be right for your particular situation.
- What competencies do we value the most about our discipline or interdisciplinary program?
- What are the most important things our students need for success in their post-Rhodes pursuits?
- What makes us happy or excited when we think about our discipline or interdisciplinary program?
- Why should a student who won’t major or minor in our discipline or interdisciplinary program take courses in it anyway?
- How does studying our discipline or interdisciplinary area change the way majors (and other students taking our classes) view themselves?
- How do we want our students to be able to think and what do we want them to be able to do as a result of studying our discipline or interdisciplinary program?
- How do we want our discipline or interdisciplinary program to affect the lives of majors and other students who study it?
- What qualities and capabilities do we strive to foster in our students?
- What are the most important things a student gains from studying our discipline or interdisciplinary area?
Here are some guidelines to help you write meaningful and demonstrable learning outcomes, and to help you evaluate the outcomes you have written.
Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy is a useful model for describing learning at different cognitive levels and can help you write learning outcomes suitable to each level.