Writing Proper Learning Outcomes

Before you start writing learning outcomes, let’s take a moment and identify the elements of a learning outcome. Here, I’ve given examples of what to do and what not to do. When you put the four parts together, you have a well-written learning outcome.

  1. State who will be doing the learning.

Don’t: “Anyone will…”

Don’t: “I will show you…”

Do: “Participants will…”


2. Use action verbs that can be measured.

Don’t: “Learn how to build a house.”

Don’t: “Know how to build a house”

Do: “Demonstrate how to build a house”


3. Specify the condition that you’ll measure learning.

Don’t: “After this lesson…”

Don’t: “Because of my presentation…”

Do: “Through this activity…”

The idea here is to select a time, activity, or assignment that you’ll be able to observe or measure learning during.

Set up the environment so that you can see if learning has taken place.


4. Add the measurement criterion of success.

Don’t: “…successfully”

Don’t: “…better than anyone”

Do: “…according to the checklist”

Here, we have to signal what we’re measuring to the learners. What goes into your rubric or checklist? How are you grading the success of your learners?

This is the criterion that you want to communicate early on to your learners ahead of time before the assignment or condition takes place.

Learning outcomes include these 4 elements to be useful. That is, when you write learning outcomes like this, it specifies the goal for the learners and how you’ll assess their learning.

That’s half of the design right there! Not only is this a time saver, but it’s also a way to motivate your learners to achieve the goals you create for them.

Types of Learning Objectives

What change do you want to see in your learners? ‍

… I know, another broad question. So let’s break it down even further:

What do you want your learners to change as a result of interacting with your online learning environment? There are 3 domains we can choose from:

  • Cognitive (Knowledge)
  • Affective (Attitude, Feelings, or Emotions)
  • Psychomotor (Physical or Manual Skills)

Once you select the domain, then you can choose an action verb associated with the domain to describe that end result. More to come on how to write effective learning outcomes later. Stay tuned!

The Freedom of Freelancing

Being a freelancer, I get to choose the projects I spend my time on, but this project in particular is rare and beautiful.

🤸🏼 It’s a chance to make a huge impact around the country for marginalized communities, AND the clients understand the importance of inclusive curriculum all the way from crafting the content to designing the visual aspects, and assessing in a way that’s responsive and sustaining for the culture of the learners. 🏳️‍🌈

I love what I do. 😍

Designing for Intersectional Identities Helps Everyone Learn


It’s true! Intersectional Design is a method of designing by thinking through how factors of identity (gender, race, sexuality, class, and many more) interact with one another.

In understanding how these factors combine, we can more deeply understand the context of use and an individual learner’s priorities.

For example, giving options on how to consume content and assess learning helps create onramps for intersections of identities. Personally, as a neurodivergent parent, asynchronous videos (with transcripts) and quizzes sprinkled throughout the videos help me learn in the spurts of time that I have between toddler activities.

What online learning strategies work best with your intersectional identities?