Writing learning outcomes


Let’s start off by defining exactly what we mean by learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are based around the end result, in other words, what will the learner be able to achieve after the learning intervention?

An outcome (objective) must always be measurable and begin with an active verb, therefore use words such as:

· List….

· Describe…

· Explain…

· Define…

· State…

· Identify…

· Arrange…

A good training material developer will state the objectives at the beginning of the course (high level outcomes) as well as before each lesson.

The outcomes will then form the basis of the learning assessment at the end of the lesson / course. Therefore it is essential that the training material developer revisits the outcomes when designing the assessments, for example, having stated that the outcome is to “list” something (Example: List the 7 wonders of the world), when it comes to the assessment phase, the question asked of the learner would be to, “List….”

By stating the learning outcomes up front, the learner is left in no doubt about what they can expect to learn. Many a time a learner will attend training with pre-conceived ideas or expectations on what they can expect and, if the outcomes are not stated upfront, can spend the entire training session waiting for these expectations to be realised, only to find that they are covered on another course.

The benefits of stating the learning outcomes to the facilitator / instructor are also immense as the training material can be sequenced correctly and in sizeable “chunks” of information. The learning outcomes also act as a guideline for the facilitators and help them to assess the method of teaching that particular outcome, for example, should a simulation be used, or a scenario-based exercise, or a self-paced exercise or is the lesson purely instructor-led.

Do hope this helps you to write learning outcomes for training material development!

Share on Social Media

Leave a comment