Learning outcomes are statements that describe what students need to know, value and be able to do after a particular learning experience. Learning outcomes guide the design of programs, courses, and modules.
What do your students need to know and be able to do with that new knowledge?
Benefits of Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes benefit instructors by simplifying course planning. When a course has clear measurable learning outcomes, we can more easily select or develop our assessments, learning activities and course materials.
Students also benefit because expectations of learning are clear and transparent. When students know exactly what they are expected to learn from day one of a course, they have a sense of direction for studying and better understand the purpose of assessments and assignments. This allows them to be more in control of their own learning.
Since many post-secondary institutions now design courses using learning outcomes, following an outcomes-based approach to curriculum design, also facilitates transfer credit agreements between institutions. Clear learning outcomes make it easier for other institutions in BC to determine the equivalency of Langara courses. This increases the likelihood that students will be able to get assigned credit for the courses they take here.
For more information on transfer, see BCCAT Learning Outcomes and Transfer Credit
Types of Learning Outcomes
Program-level learning outcomes are statements that describe the essential learning that our students need to achieve, and reliably demonstrate, after completing ALL required courses in a program. This type of outcome reflects complex learning that is the culmination of the knowledge and skills learned in the required courses within a program.
Course-level learning outcomes describe the essential learning that our students need to achieve, and reliably demonstrate, after completing a particular course. Course learning outcomes are the stepping stones that help students eventually achieve program learning outcomes. Therefore, it is essential that course learning outcomes align with program-level ones.
These short videos walk through the steps of creating learning outcomes and provide a number of examples of course-level learning outcomes from different disciplines.
Our taxonomy of educational objectives handout will help you select the appropriate level for your learning outcomes.
If you would like one-on-one support or a department workshop on developing or refining learning outcomes, please contact a TCDC curriculum consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org.