1. Start with learning outcomes
This guide will explore sections A-E of the Course Quality Criteria.
High quality learning outcomes:
- Begin with a verb and articulate what learners will know or be able to do by the end of your course
What are learning outcomes?
Learning outcomes are statements that describe what students will be able to do by the end of your course.
Learning outcomes start with: "By the end of this course, students will be able to...", followed by a verb related to the desired action or performance and ending with the object of the statement.
For example, in a course on Sustainable Thinking, the learning outcomes might be:
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Differentiate between sustainable and less sustainable products, services and practices (LO1)
- Develop strategies to improve their own sustainable living practices (LO2)
- Critique products and services based on how sustainable they are (LO3)
- Design a product or service that supports environmental sustainability (LO4)
They should drive the design of all course content and activities.
For a list of verbs, we recommend Googling Bloom's Taxonomy verbs (and focusing on the higher-order thinking levels like creating, evaluating and analysing).
Tip: Try to avoid using verbs that are murky or unclear to measure or observe, such as:
- be aware of
- be familiar with
Because at the end of your course, your culminating learning activity (or course project) should measure how well students were able to achieve the learning outcomes. Murky verbs aren't easy to measure!
In OpenLearning, you can set up outcomes as well as outcome tags.
Outcome tags are shortened versions of the outcomes. Add them to pages throughout the course to reflect alignment between learning activities and outcomes. (i.e. what you're learning about on a page relates to a learning outcome). Outcome tags are also necessary when using the assessment system.
Go to Course Setup > Outcomes
Type in your outcomes and outcome tags
On each of page that you build inside your course, tag it with the outcome tag that it relates to