Teaching and learning

Designing course level intended learning outcomes

From this page you can find help to design attainable, understandable and measurable intended learning outcomes.
A person building up a prototype

Course level intended learning outcomes are a way to communicate to students what is it that they should be able to know, understand or do after the course. In aligned teaching, the contents, teaching methods and assessment methods form an aligned entity. Teacher's job is to create an environment in which the chosen ways to learn support reaching intended learning outcomes. Intended learning outcomes are set on the programme and course level and separately for each teaching session. You can read more about the programme level intended learning outcomes from the Programme Director's Handbook.

How to design an attainable, understandable and measurable learning outcome? 

  1. Start by asking yourself what do you expect students to know after the course/session and at which level do you expect their skills and knowledge to be.

  2. Estimate how much time students need for attaining the outcome. Time is a
    prerequisite for learning and deep learning takes time. 
  3. Plan the assessment based on the intended learning outcomes. How and with which methods can you measure learning or ensure whether the intended learning outcomes have been reached? 

Use "a formula" to support your work when designing intended learning outcomes (below). 

Parts of a good learning outcome summed together.

Source & see more: Hemminki, M; Leppänen, M. & Valovirta, T.(2013) Get inspired! A guide for successful teaching. See chapter 4. 

Get inspired! A guide for successful teaching

Read more:

  • Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.
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