A Guide to Writing Learning Outcomes in Higher Education
Identifying learning outcomes is key to planning courses and their elements such as modules and individual learning activities. Programme and course specification documents require curriculum developers and course planners to identify the aim for a course and the learning outcomes needed to meet that aim. They are intended to be guiding statements for learners and module tutors to implement for teaching, learning, assessment, and curriculum delivery. There are different expectations of learners at different stages of a course. These changing expectations as a student progresses through the levels of a course and should be reflected in the outcomes. Typically, a learner is expected to become less dependent and more able to deal with unstructured d and ambiguous situations. Learning outcomes offer an explicit description of what a learner should know, understand and be able to do because of the learning that they have engaged with. They may include attitudes, behaviours, values, and ethics. Describing a course in terms of learning outcomes puts the focus on the learner rather than on content and should ensure that learner and tutor are aligned in their expectations. The quality of learning outcomes has been shown to be poor and many academics require support for writing learning outcomes that meet best practice and support student learning.
This guide is provided to support curriculum designers in writing learning outcomes that support and enhance learning.
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