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Clear & Explicit

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Developmentally Appropriate

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Student Learning Outcomes are statements of what faculty expect students to be able to do when they have completed a program of study. Good learning outcomes reflect thoughtful collaboration and iterative efforts by faculty to identify and articulate the deep themes, connections, skills, and ways of knowing that weave throughout the different content areas within a given discipline. They intentionally focus on the areas of knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that students can reasonably be expected to demonstrate and that will prepare students for post-graduate success.

Importantly, outcomes are not statements of what teachers intend to teach or statements of the learning activities that will happen. They are not lists of the content areas that collectively comprise an academic discipline. Rather, learning outcomes:

  • focus on the student
  • are aligned upwardly to institution and program mission and goals and downward to course learning outcomes
  • are clear and explicit
  • use observable, measurable action words that can be evaluated against established criteria
  • are challenging but realistic and developmentally appropriate for students at this stage of their learning journey
  • focus on ideas, skills, and attitudes that are worthy of enduring understanding