Writing good learning outcome statements


Learning outcomes are statements that describe what students should be able to know and do at the end of a particular learning experience. These are not stand-alone statements. They are used at the lesson, course and program level and must align with assessment strategies and teaching activities. Writing a good learning outcome statement that effectively communicates what students are expected to do at each level can be tricky. The following tools were designed by our Learning Experience Design Team at Lethbridge College with inspiration from some of our greatest mentors Stiehl & Lewchuck (2012), Dee Fink (2003), Benjamin Bloom (1956) and Wiggens & McTighe (1998).

1. 5 Essential Characteristics of a Good Outcome Statement

This tool was inspired by the work of Stiehl & Lewchuck (2012) and Stiehl and Telban (2016). It’s a great resource to print out on and paste on the wall while you are designing your course and mapping the curriculum.

2. Verbs for Writing Good Outcomes

Finding the right word to describe what students will need to know and do can be a challenge. This resource will help you choose the most relevant verbs to use in your outcome statements that will effectively communicate learning expectations to students.

3. The Perfect Formula for Writing Outcome Statement

This infographic breaks down the outcome statement into an easy to follow equation.

4. Curriculum Alignment Framework Guide

Once you have developed clear and measurable outcome statements, this guide and framework will help you map them to appropriate teaching strategies and assessments.


Bloom B S (ed.) (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the classification of educational goals – Handbook I: Cognitive Domain New York: McKay


Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass


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


Wiggens, J., McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


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