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Why Do We Use Student Learning Outcomes?

Student learning outcomes define the learning that takes place in a structured learning experience: a course or a co-curricular activity.  Transparently defining student learning outcomes advances student success.

Clear student learning outcomes equip students, faculty, staff and other internal/external stakeholders to navigate a structured learning experience purposefully.  They provide focus and direction for a structured learning experience, which allows for streamlined assessment and reflection on the learning experience.  Moreover, with clear student learning outcomes, faculty and staff can ensure consistency while maintaining academic freedom. 

When student learning outcomes are defined, it is easier for students to articulate clearly what they have learned in a course or through an activity. This helps students provide clear information about their education when applying for transfer or graduate school, preparing resumes, and defining their educational, personal, and professional goals.  Likewise, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders can connect structured learning experiences to broader institutional outcomes, resources, and needs.