Learning outcomes refer to what a student
will be able to know or do at the end of a learning unit. Learning
outcomes are written for 4 areas of learning:
This refers to the content, topics, what we know of as the syllabus. You may start these learning outcomes by saying:
Having successfully completed
this unit, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding
This is what you expect students to do
with the content: describe, compare, evaluate, apply etc. These
always start with a verb that will guide how you assess – see table
with a list of verbs below.
Subject Specific Skills
Not all units will have this set of learning
outcomes, and relates to manipulation skills and professional skills
that a graduate of such a programme needs. For motor skills you
may use verbs like: co-ordinates, balances, operates, handles (with
confidence/skilfully), expresses, performs, calibrates, rotates etc.
The University have a guided list of key skills (see QAU Handbook, section 18.104.22.168 – scroll to near bottom) which are:
In assessing key skills you may want
to add a particular group of key skills to a set of core assignments
and include in the marking. Or, you may ask students to evidence
their key skills work through, for example, Progress Files. You
may have a mix of techniques. For example assessing attitudes
or group work/seminar work you could use verbs like: supports, shares,
responds, judges, joins, questions, praises, listens, argues, responds,
challenges, integrates, enjoys, volunteers, attempts, listens, receives,
Cognitive Skills for Learning Outcomes
|Cognitive Domain||Selection of active verbs for learning outcomes||Answers the questions|
||define, label, recall, order, list, quote, match, state, recognise, identify, recite||Who, what, when, where, how?
How do you define?
||describe, discuss, summarise, paraphrase, report, review, understands, explain||How would you paraphrase?
What are the main ideas?
How would summarise?
Give examples of……
||assess, demonstrate, examine, distinguish, establish, show, report, implement, determine, produce, solve, draw, interpret, provide, use, utilise, write|
How is xxx an example of yyy ?
How is xx related to yy?
Why is xx significant?
||analyse, illustrate, discriminate, differentiate, distinguish, examine, question, infer, support, prove, test, experiment, categorise, write|
What are the parts/features of xx?
Classify acccording to …..?
How does xx compare/contrast with ?
What evidence is there for …?
||Compile, categorise, generate, negotiate, reconstruct, reorganise, revise, validate, organise, plan, propose, set up, write, substitute, initiate, express, compare, modify, design, create, build, devise, integrate|
What would you infer/predict from ..?
What ideas can you add to ?
How would you create/design …?
What might happen if you ?
What solutions would you suggest..?
||Appraise, criticise, assess, argue, justify, defend, interpret, support, estimate, evaluate, critique, review, write|
Do you agree that…?
What do you think about..?
What is the most important…?
Prioritise & give rationale
Decision making – rationale
Criteria for assessing ….
As can be seen the cognitive complexity increases with ‘evaluation’ being a more complex cognitive activity than ‘knowledge’.