Creating Learning Objectives & Assessment of Learning Outcomes

The creation of efficient learning activities begins with two elements. The first is identifying specific and measurable objectives of the assessment, and the second is defining the assessment methods and the learning outcomes. Both instructors and learners are interdependent doers of these elements. Therefore, they should move in line with those elements for achieving the positive consequences of a learning activity.

This article will try to show how to write learning objectives with the diagnoses from Bloom’s Taxonomy and try to support this with learning objectives examples. Moreover, this article will try to demonstrate methods of learning outcomes assessment in Test Invite online assessment software with student learning outcomes examples.

What are Learning Objectives?


Let’s start with a short definition of learning objectives. In the simplest form, learning objectives is a set of the purposes of a learning activity and they define what learners should know by the end of the course.

In addition, the learning objectives should contain a brief and clear statement about what ability the learners will gain after the learning activity. This ability needs to be evaluated with measurable and perceptible behavior.

Learning Goals vs. Learning Objectives

The concepts of learning goals and learning objectives have always been contradictable between each other. For building a concrete course structure, you have to specify clear definitions of these two concepts.

Learning goals consist of broad and abstract statements about what is to be learned while learning objectives define tangible and precise factors about what is to be learned and exercised.

For example;

  • A learning goal should be like this: “Learners will know how to interpret classic literature.”
  • A learning objective should be like this: “Learners will be able to compare classic literature in terms of political themes.”

How to Write Learning Objectives


Before defining your learning objectives about a learning activity, you have to determine the level of learning that you want to be succeeded by learners. Bloom’s Taxonomy is an educational framework that became a leading model for learning activities with its scientific outputs. Bloom’s Taxonomy had identified six levels for a learning activity.

Bloom's Taxonomy pyramid describing levels of learning
  • Remembering: Recalling & memorizing facts, basic concepts and terms.

    Example: to be able to select, list and define the fundamental laws of physics.

  • Understanding: Describing, interpreting, & comparing ideas.

    Example: to be able to compare and contrast classic literature in terms of political themes

  • Applying: Solving problems into new problems with acquired skills.

    Example: to be able to apply mathematical calculations to make a building plan

  • Analyzing: Identifying causes and finding pieces of evidence to support generalizations.

    Example: to be able to analyze marketing expenses and shape the marketing strategy of a firm

  • Evaluating: Presenting & defending opinions by making judgments.

    Example: to be able to present and assess current democratization processes with democratization theories.

  • Creating: Combining elements in a new pattern and proposing alternative solutions.

    Example: to be able to build an AI software suitable for online proctoring.

All of these levels can be put into practice by instructors when writing learning objectives. Six different sets of verbs had been categorized for these six different levels. Besides, these verbs pave the way to collect and analyze learning outcomes.

What are Learning Outcomes?


In the simplest term, learning outcomes are the representations of skills, abilities, and knowledge that learners can possess and demonstrate after the learning activity. After defining and writing the learning objectives, you should use the appropriate action verbs and create your questions for the assessment of learning outcomes.

  • Remembering

    Action Verbs: Choose, Define, Find, Match, Select, List, Name, Spell, Omit, Wh’s, and How

    • For example; “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to select, list and define Newton’s laws of motion.”
  • Understanding

    Action Verbs: Compare, classify, contrast, explain, interpret, illustrate, translate, summarize, demonstrate, outline.

    • For example; “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to write a well composed essay in which they compare and contrast Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities and Tolstoy’s War and Peace in terms of political themes.”
  • Applying

    Action Verbs: Apply, Build, Develop, Construct, Identify, Plan, Solve, Utilize, Interview, Experiment with.

    • For example; “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to apply required mathematical methods and techniques to building plans of a tied arch bridge.”
  • Analyzing

    Action Verbs: Analyze, Assume, Categorize, Examine, Divide, Simplify, Distinguish, Inference, Dissect, Motive, Inspect

    • For example; “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to analyze data about social media traffic and advertising expenses of a company and categorize these data sets with Excel usage for finding affordable and efficient solutions.”
  • Evaluating

    Action Verbs: Collect, Appraise, Assess, Criticize, Defend, Decide, Conclude, Disprove, Justify, Perceive.

    • For example; “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to assess and criticize a contemporary democratization process with the concept of democratic consolidation.”
  • Creating

    Action Verbs: Discuss, Adapt, Change, Compose, Write, Formulate, Improve, Originate, Propose, Elaborate, Design.

    • For example; “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to write an AI program designed for facial recognition purposes to be used in online proctoring system.”

Discover all the question types you can leverage for your learning outcomes in Test Invite

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Assessment of Learning Outcomes with our Online Assessment Software


Each level of learning activity requires different types of assessments. The first step of designing comprehensive assessments for assessing learning outcomes is selecting the question types and formats. Test Invite online assessment software and its features allow you to apply your learning objectives and assess learning outcomes with comprehensive online assessments. Let’s move on with our examples above.

  • Remembering

    Learning Outcome: “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to select, list and define Newton’s laws of motion.”

    • Assessment (select, list, define): MCQ test and written definitions.
    • Solution: Ask a multiple-choice question, matching question, or sorting question. Ask open-ended questions and collect answers with a text field.
  • Understanding

    Learning Outcome: “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to compare and contrast Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities and Tolstoy’s War and Peace in terms of political themes.”

    • Assessment (compare, contrast): A well-written essay.
    • Solution: Ask open-ended questions, use our rich text editor and collect answers.
  • Applying

    Learning Outcome: “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to apply required mathematical methods and techniques to building plans of a tied arch bridge.”

    • Assessment (Apply): Mathematical questions
    • Solution: Use the math editor and LaTeX editor. Collect answers.
  • Analyzing

    Learning Outcome: “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to analyze data about social media traffic and advertising expense of a company and categorize these data sets with Excel usage for finding affordable and efficient solutions.”

    • Assessment (Analyze): Analyzing and categorizing data sets with Excel.
    • Solution: Ask the “upload a file” question. Learners analyze the data sets, answer questions with Excel usage skills, and upload answers with the Excel file.
  • Evaluating

    Learning Outcome: “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to assess and criticize a contemporary democratization process with the concept of democratic consolidation.”

    • Assessment (Assess, Criticize): Video Interview/ Presentation
    • Solution: Ask a video interview question. Learners make presentations, criticize cases about the topic in a video record.
  • Creating

    Learning Outcome: “At the end of the learning activity, learners will be able to write an AI program designed for facial recognition purposes to be used in online proctoring system.”

    • Assessment: Coding skills assessment
    • Solution: Ask questions about the programming topic and collect answers via the code editor.

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