2. What is a Student Learning Outcome?
Student Learning Outcomes are the knowledge,
skills, attitudes, and habits of mind that students take
with them from a learning experience.
3. How is a Student Learning Outcome
different from a Goal?
A goal is a statement of the intended general outcome of a project. A
goal statement describes a more global learning outcome. A learning
outcome is a statement of one of several specific performances, the
achievement of which contributes to the attainment of the goal.
A single GOAL may have many specific subordinate LEARNING
4. Why are Student Learning Outcomes
• Define the type and depth of learning students are expected to
• Provide an objective benchmark for formative, summative, and
prior learning assessment
• Clearly communicate expectations to learners
• Clearly communicate skills to prospective graduate schools,
• Define coherent connections to in-class and other learning
• Guide and organize the community partner, project leader, and
5. Characteristics of Good Student Learning
Flexible: good learning outcomes allow for changes; while individual
outcomes should be specific, project leaders should feel comfortable
adding, removing, or adjusting learning outcomes over the course of the
planning process, and during the experience.
6. Characteristics of Good Student Learning
Learner-Focused: good learning outcomes describe knowledge or
skills that the student will employ, and help the learner understand why
that knowledge and those skills are useful and valuable to their
personal, professional, and academic future.
7. Characteristics of Good Student Learning
Realistic: good learning outcomes allow all students to demonstrate the
knowledge or skill described by the learning outcome at some point
during the project.
8. Characteristics of Good Student Learning
Applicable and Integrated: good learning outcomes reflect and
indicate the ways in which the described knowledge and skills may be
used by the learner now and in future academic and professional
9. Characteristics of Good Student Learning
Assessment: good learning outcomes include modes of assessment
and the specific elements that will be assessed in an effort to prepare
students help them feel engaged in and empowered throughout the
10. Characteristics of Good Student Learning
Timely: good learning outcomes offer a timeline for completion of the
11. Domains & Competencies/Skills
The University of Toronto uses 34 Domains-Competencies/Skills to
track student learning across programs.
There are 6 Domains, and a number of Competencies/Skills
included under each Domain.
Each Competency/Skill has a very specific definition.
The GOALS of your project will determine which Domains-
Competencies/Skills you choose to use to write Student Learning
Outcomes for your project.
12. Writing Learning Outcomes - Structure
• Describe the competency in performance terms
• Identify an observable student behaviour
• Choice of verb is important!
• What conditions should the student perform under?
• What tools, references, aids will be provided to them?
• How should the learner perform the observable behaviour?
• Quantify your observations
13. Writing Learning Outcomes - StructureWHO
who will be
14. Writing Learning Outcomes - Structure
At least ¾
what do you want
them to learn?
as demonstrated by
16. Checklist for Specific Student Learning
1. Begin each statement of a specific learning outcome with a verb
that specifies definite, observable behavior.
2. Make sure that each statement meets all three of the criteria for
a good learning objective: observable behavior, the conditions
under which the student will be expected to perform, and the
criteria to be used for evaluation of the student's performance.
3. Be sure to include complex objectives (appreciation, problem-
solving, etc.) when they are appropriate.
17. Examples - 1
Domain: Novel and Adaptive Thinking
Competency/Skill: Strategic Thinking
By completing an in-depth review of existing programming available
to mothers with young children, student participants will be able to
identify at least 3 gaps in learning and propose 2 meaningful
solutions for each during the meeting with board members on
18. Examples - 2
Domain: Practical Skills Development
Competency/Skill: Communications and Media
Through engaging with the organizations’ existing social media
platforms and conducting research on effective and engaging
internet-based promotions strategies, student participants will be able
to develop and begin implementing one short- (3 month) and one
long- (12 month) term social media plan that incorporates presence
on 4 social media platforms.
19. Examples - 3
Domain: Community and Global Engagement
Competency/Skill: Global Perspective and Engagement
In actively participating in the Community Partner’s additional training
session on February 9, students will gain an understanding of at least
3 existing challenges to environmental resource sustainability, and
contribute at least 3 suggestions for actively engaging high school
students in outreach programs (these ideas will be the basis for the
20. References and Resources
• A great article: