Learning outcomes, often called "learning objectives," are statements that describe student learning. They define the results of your teaching in terms of what the students will be able to do.
The first step in course development
Clear communication with prospective students
Start by generating a list of ideas about what you want students to be able to do. Use action verbs and avoid hard-to-assess verbs like know and understand.
Learning outcomes often follow the AB(CD) format: Students (A=audience) will do (B=behavior), given (C=condition), with (D=degree of proficiency).
Students (A) will be able to compare and contrast two opposing arguments in the death penalty debate (B), providing legal precedents for each (D), given a 5 page writing assignment (C).
Learning outcomes are specific not general
General: Student will understand both sides of the death penalty debate.
Learning outcomes describe results of learning not the steps taken to get there.
About process not learning: Students will read peer reviewed articles on the death penalty.
Learning outcomes are about the student, not the program, course or instructor.
About course, not student: This course will provide an overview of legal arguments in the death penalty debate.