What are Student Learning Outcomes?
Course goals at the Academy are called student learning outcomes and they are found on the syllabus for your class. Learning outcomes explain exactly what the student should be able to do by the end of the course. Outcomes should be concrete and measurable; they will be the same for every section of a course. Internalizing the student learning outcomes will guide and focus every step of your lesson-planning process.
Here are two examples of student learning outcomes:
Notice that these student learning outcomes are concrete, measurable and written for the student. It is easy to see what sorts of assignments and topics might lead up to the outcomes described above.
Daily Student Outcomes
Daily student outcomes provide direction for your daily lessons. These outcomes state explicitly what the students will be able to do by the end of a day’s session. Daily outcomes, like course learning outcomes, should be concrete and measurable so that both you and your students know whether not they have attained them. They should be written for the student. They should also define the scope of what you will cover on a given day.
Compare these two attempts at daily outcomes for a lesson on shutter speeds and apertures:
- I will cover shutter speeds and apertures in a lecture and show students the controls on their cameras.
- Students will be able to calculate equivalent exposures, using F-stop and shutter speeds.
Note that the first is a plan for what the teacher will do, while the second is written for the students. The second is a concrete description of what the students will do. It is measurable—the teacher can say if the calculations are done correctly or not.
Now compare these two attempts at daily outcomes for a field trip to Grace Cathedral for an Art History class:
- Students will go to Grace Cathedral and think about connections between various styles of architecture.
- Students will go to Grace Cathedral and identify the architectural components that identify it as French Gothic.
Both of these outcomes are written for the student. But the first is not concrete. It is difficult to observe and measure 'thinking.' The second is the better example of a daily learning outcome, because the teacher can observe a student identifying something specific, either by writing or saying it.
Here are a two more examples of Daily Outcomes that are concrete, measurable, and written for the student:
- Students will be able to create five unique block prints using various color schemes. (Print Making)
- Students will be able to identify the main features of Chanel designs. (Fashion)