Learning outcome

Receive feedback on the learning outcome of a course

Learning outcomes are a permanent element of course descriptions at Aarhus University, and have been for many years. 

Descriptions of learning outcomes should include the knowledge, skills and behaviour patterns that the teacher wants students to be able to express at the end of the course. However, writing good, practically-oriented learning outcomes is not an easy task. Previously, learning outcomes were usually defined at an abstract level, describing the ‘understanding’ or ‘knowledge’ that students had to achieve. This abstract formulation is difficult for students to decipher, and it makes it difficult for teachers to actively incorporate learning outcomes into their teaching as a pedagogical aim. Instead, commonly used nouns, such as knowledge, skills, understanding and application, should be broken down into more specific goals relating strictly to the course. One way of doing this is to use verbs and consider the taxonomic level of the learning outcome.

Example of an abstract learning outcome: The course provides students with an understanding of key concepts and methods within the field of study. Example of a practically-oriented learning outcome: The students should be able to explain the difference between the concepts of high-fidelity prototyping and low-fidelity prototyping. If you need feedback on the learning outcomes of your course, please send us your course description along with a description of the specific aspects on which you want to receive feedback. The SOLO taxonomy (Biggs & Tang, 1999) may help you define practically-oriented learning outcomes.