MARA 294: Writing Learning Outcomes

To write Learning Outcomes, focus on the desired “end state” of a process and how achievement can be measured. Educational theorists have developed lists of action verbs that reinforce each of the six levels of learning. Here are some examples:

  1. Remember — define, recall, list, recognize, memorize
  2. Understand — classify, discuss, explain, identify, describe
  3. Apply — interpret, choose, employ, illustrate
  4. Analyze — contrast, compare, distinguish, differentiate
  5. Evaluate — appraise, judge, select, support
  6. Create — assemble, construct, design, develop, formulate

Certain verbs are unclear and subject to different interpretations in terms of what actions they specify. Such verbs call for covert behavior, which cannot be observed or measured, and as such these types of verbs should be avoided: appreciate; become aware of; become familiar with; learn; know.

Sample Learning Outcomes

  • "Develop arrangement schema and formulate processing timelines for archival collections while considering institutional resources and priorities."
  • "Apply archival survey and arrangement methods to unprocessed manuscript collections."
  • "Compare, select and employ appropriate preservation methods and materials for archival objects."
  • "Appraise collection materials for retention and disposition based on institutional policies, research needs and archival standards/guidelines."
  • "Facilitate information management and retrieval by designing and constructing descriptive finding aids and accurate electronic records using archival standards."

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