Skip to Content

Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics

Learning Outcomes Instructions

Learning outcomes are much more specific than goal statements. Learning outcomes describe the measurable skills, abilities, knowledge, or values that students should be able to do or demonstrate upon completion of the academic program. Learning outcomes should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, and Time-framed.


Identify 3-5 learning outcomes that are specific, measurable, and attainable. Select learning outcomes that faculty deem most important for all program graduates to achieve upon degree completion.

More than 5 learning outcomes can be included if required by program accrediting agencies, or if faculty believe the learning outcomes are very important for all graduates to achieve. With numerous (5+), substantial learning outcomes, faculty may decide to assess sets of outcomes on a rotating cycle (e.g. with a total of 12 learning outcomes, assessing a set of 4 outcomes each year, with a 3 year cycle), while others may prefer to assess all learning outcomes annually.

More advanced degree programs should have more advanced learning outcomes (and different measures and criteria).

Action Verb List:

The verbs listed below can be used to create student learning outcomes. Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) have adapted Bloom's model to fit the needs of today's classroom by employing more outcome-oriented language, workable objectives, and changing nouns to active verbs.

Remember: Understand: Apply: Analyze: Evaluate: Create:
Arrange Classify Apply Analyze Appraise Arrange
Define Convert Change Appraise Argue Assemble
Describe Defend Choose Categorize Assess Combine
Identify Distinguish Compute Compare Conclude Compose
Label Explain Demonstrate Contrast Defend Construct
List Estimate Dramatize Criticize Evaluate Create
Match Interpret Employ Diagram Judge Design
Outline Infer Illustrate Differentiate Justify Develop
Recognize Paraphrase Manipulate Discriminate Support Formulate
Recall Summarize Modify Distinguish Value Generate
Repeat Translate Operate Examine   Plan
Reproduce   Practice Experiment   Synthesize
    Produce Question   Write
    Solve Model    
    Write Test    


Students will be able to utilize scientific methodology and psychological principles in the critical evaluation of information in the public domain.

Students will explain relationships between and among literary elements including character, plot, setting, theme, conflict and resolution and their influence on the effectiveness of the literary piece.

Students will be able to plan, implement, and evaluate the most appropriate intervention(s) within one system level (e.g., with an individual) as well as across systems levels (e.g., family and/or group intervention; individual and/or family intervention) given the unique, diverse, and at-risk characteristics of client systems and their presenting problems and strengths.