University Statement on Student Learning Goals & Examples from ND Courses

Articulation of Learning Goals

Learning goals identify the most important outcomes for the course, form the basis for designing assessments/assignments, and provide transparency for students. Learning goals should be written so as to communicate clearly how the students will demonstrate learning. Learning goals are best formulated with specific reference to behaviors or performances that can be observed. Verbs such as apply, analyze, identify, compare, critique, etc. allow instructors and students to establish clear connections between learning goals and assignments/assessments. More general terms, such as appreciate or understand, though indicating desirable outcomes, are not concrete enough to communicate what students should be able to do in the stated areas.

Examples of clearly articulated learning goals:

The History of Sex, Sexuality and Gender in the U.S. Since 1880  - Gail Bederman, History

Japanese 112 - Setsuko Shiga, East Asian Languages and Literatures

Elements of Calculus II for Business - Alex Himonas, Mathematics

Semiconductors I: Fundamentals - Douglas C. Hall, Electrical Engineering

Marketing 500 - Joe Urbany, Marketing


Additional Resources:

Articulating Instructional Goals - Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, Georgetown University

Articulating Learning Goals - Kaneb Center Workshop

Teaching Goals Inventory (From Classroom Assessment Techniques) - This tool can help you identify your top priorities for student learning.