Intended Outcomes

⏱ 3-5 minute read and video

Watch this 1-minute video to learn more about why Intended Outcomes are important in learning experience design:

* soft, subtle music plays *

Identifying Intended Outcomes allows us to imagine what it looks like when our learners successfully complete a learning experience.

In this phase, we answer questions such as: What should the learners know?
What should they be able to do?
How should they feel?

Beginning with the end in mind keeps the rest of our work grounded on purpose. It provides a picture of success, and makes it easier to build the learning experience.

Here are tips for writing good, clear intended outcomes:

First, use language that your learners can understand.
When your learners know the goal, they’re able to keep track of their own learning.

Second, make measurable outcomes.
Your learners should be able to demonstrate the outcomes through activities and assessments.

And third, keep it simple.
A good designer can identify the most essential outcomes to keep the LX manageable.

Clear learning outcomes are necessary, especially for online learning. We need to be able to communicate to our learners what they should know or be able to do or feel by the end of the  learning experience. The intended outcomes need to be observable and measurable, and being transparent about these outcomes will keep both educators and learners in check throughout the learning experience.

We usually refer to Bloom’s taxonomy as the base for writing learning outcomes, but exploring other models and taxonomies for learning may help us address more specific  learning needs.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Graphy by Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Here’s an article that compares a few models against Bloom’s with the intent of expanding our understanding of learning objectives.

💡 Here are some tips for writing clear outcome statements.

  • When creating skill-based learning outcomes, it’s good practice to describe the actual behaviors, while avoiding confusing/hard to observe or measure adjectives (such as ‘creative’) or vague ideas (such as ‘talent’).
  • ‘Describe’ is best suited for knowledge-based learning outcomes, it is an action that indicates that a learner knows the concept. Other knowledge-based outcomes might use words such as recall, illustrate, outline, define, among others.
  • Attitude-based learning outcomes indicate a change of belief, such as valuing the importance of an idea or accepting a worldview. Other outcomes might start with words such as: defend, justify, advocate.
  • Create learning outcomes that measure skills using assessments such as collaborative work, discussions, essays, etc.
Intended Outcomes – Habi Plus