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Steps for developing/writing learning outcomes

1. Define the program/event/service you will be assessing with your Student Learning
a. Focus on one program/event/service. This narrows the potential learning
2. Think about what students can/should learn from the program/event/service.
a. When we organize programs/events as well as provide services, we try to educate
students about something. What is that something? What is the purpose of the
3. Draft a few learning outcomes.
a. Keep the outcomes to a simple sentence with outcome. Use an action verb.
4. Review the learning outcomes with colleagues. (Two heads are better than one).
a. Make sure you choose a colleague who understands learning outcomes. Ask if it
relates and complements you program/event/service. Remember, others who
know nothing about your area may read your outcome so direct, concise
outcomes are best.
5. Make a second draft of the learning outcome.
a. Use the feedback and adjust the outcome, if necessary.
6. Think about how you will measure the outcome(s). Choose a method to do so.
a. What instruments will you use? Quantitative or qualitative methods? Survey,
interviews, observations, focus groups, etc.? Be sure that the student learning
outcomes can be measured appropriately and adequately.
7. Determine if your instrument tools will help you to thoroughly determine whether or not
the learning outcomes have been accomplished.
a. Be sure the tools actually measure the student learning outcomes. If the methods
don’t do this, your work is wasted. You are trying to determine whether or not
students are achieving the learning outcomes. If the tools don’t measure the
outcomes, then you won’t know if the students are learning.
8. Consult with colleagues about the connection between the measurement tool and the
learning outcomes.
a. As you did when consulting colleagues about your learning outcomes, consult
them to determine if they see the clear link between your methods and the student
learning outcomes. This will help you to be sure that your work will provide
meaningful results in the end.
9. Finalize your learning outcomes and methods.
a. Make changes based on feedback or other resources. This is the last step before
going forth with your assessment project.

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