What are Learning Outcomes?

Learning Outcomes for Cyclical Reviews and New Programs:

Program-level learning outcomes must be approved and submitted to the Office of Quality Assurance as part of the cyclical review process. It is highly recommended that departments consult the Centre for Teaching and Learning for assistance in writing these learning well in aid in the approval process.

Learning outcomes must be written using the templates provided and then first submitted to the Senate for through the PDC approval process. Get started with the templates below:

Undergraduate Program Learning Outcomes Form

Graduate Program Learning Outcomes Form

Undergraduate and Graduate Course Learning Outcomes Form

To access the repository of official program and course learning outcomes, visit the Curriculum Mapping Aid database (CuMA).

What are learning outcomes?

Learning outcomes are statements that indicate what successful students will know, value or be able to do by the end of the course or program. At the course level, outcomes articulate the very specific subject matter expertise and skill sets that students will achieve in each course. At the program level, outcomes integrate the cumulative knowledge and skills that successful graduates will take with them to their future ventures.  

Why care about learning outcomes?

Strategic use of learning outcomes in course and program design can result in many potential benefits for students and instructors.

  • Better Learning and Performance: Learning outcomes can be used to provide guidance for students, so they know what is expected of them, and thus, what they should focus on in-class and at home.
  • Intentional Teaching: By defining what students are supposed to know, value, and be able to do at the end of a course, instructors generate questions that help clarify their r ideas and guide teaching. This helps with creating effective lessons and assessments.
  • Effective Program Design: Outlining what students are expected to achieve by the end of a program helps with the strategic and intentional design of the program

How do I write learning outcomes?

When writing program level outcomes, the stem of the outcome is always the same and need not be repeated: By the end of this program, students will be able to ….

The outcome will then complete that sentence with a specific, concrete, and observable object that articulates a transferable skill, item of knowledge or value that all successful students will achieve.

The following examples of program learning outcomes are drawn from a range of disciplines and levels, and include a cross-section of University of Windsor Graduate Attributes: 

Locate, analyze, synthesize and evaluate relevant scientific literature to address a specific industry-relevant problem.

Recognize and propose ways to promote and act on elements of corporate social responsibility in Business.

Apply concepts of visual storytelling, including the use of cinematic techniques (e.g. lighting, shot angles, etc.) in the process of scriptwriting and creating media texts to achieve desired effects.

Summarize, analyze, and convey the meaning of complex legal material using appropriate terminology, and with precision, logic, and economy.

Appropriately incorporate economics, management, and business practices, such as project, risk, and change management, into the practice of engineering.

Utilize the nursing process and the principles of teaching and learning, to guide the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health and well-being for all individuals, families, groups, communities and populations.

Recognize and assess human movement patterns and development across the lifespan and within different settings, including the workplace, sport, and rehabilitation.

Develop diagnostic, formative and summative tools to assess individual and community learning.

Resources for writing your learning outcomes:

  • For official program and course learning outcomes visit the Curriculum Mapping Aid (CuMA) database. Thi is an online tool that contains an archive of Senate-approved learning outcomes at the  University of Windsor, as well as curriculum mapping and reporting functions. Use your UWin ID and password to log into the CuMA tool.
  • You are encouraged to consult with the Centre for Teaching and Learning prior to or during learning outcome development; however, guidance can be provided at any point on an as needed basis. Please contact Allyson Skene at askene@uwindsor.ca.

Resources from the Quality Assurance  Framework Guide: