Writing good outcome statements

writing outcome statements

This tool highlights the five essential characteristics of a good outcome statement.

Difficulty: 1/5


The time it takes to write outcome statements varies depending on the course and the desired outcomes.


1 Human

Core Competency Connection

Sketch of two bees on a yellow gradient background
Sketch of three wolves on a grey gradient background
Sketch of a raven on a blue gradient background


  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Tools for writing



The Process

1. Action

  • A good outcome statement is written in an active voice, using carefully chosen words. We have a recommended formula for this.

2. Context

  • The statement is learner-focused and describes what the learner will be able to do AFTER and OUTSIDE of the educational experience.

3. Scope

  • These outcome statements are realistic and reasonable, considering time available.

4. Complexity

  • They also drive rigorous content and assessment strategies by focusing on application and interrogation of acquired knowledge and skills used by learners now and in the future.

5. Clarity

  • Outcome statements are short, well-constructed, and easy to interpret.

6. When it all comes together

  • Using these principals, a completed outcome statement could look like this:

“Make pricing decisions using relevant cost and profitability factors.”

Tips & Tricks


Dee Fink, L. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses (Revised ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Stiehl, R., Lewchuk, L. (2012). The MAPPING Primer: Tools for reconstructing the college curriculum (2nd ed). The Learning Organization.

Wiggins, J., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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