thing 11: Student Learning Outcomes


Zald, A. E., Gilchrist, D. (2008). Instruction and program design through assessment. In Christopher N. Cox; Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, Information Literacy Instruction Handbook 164-192. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Stern Cahoy, E. & Schroeder, R. (2012). Embedding Affective Learning Outcomes Into Library Instruction. Communications in Information Literacy, 6(1), 76-90.

Bixler, B. The ABCDs of Writing Instructional Objectives.

Strategies for writing learning outcomes:


Strategy 1:

The student will be able to + ACTIVE VERB in order to WHY

Ex). The Student will employ multiple search strategies when undertaking research in order to develop flexible, research skills that can be applied in multiple contexts.

Strategy 2:

ABCD: Audience, Behavior, Condition, Degree

Ex). When first year students are unable to find relevant sources after 20 minutes of employing different strategies, they will contact a librarian for assistance.


The readings & resources above outline strategies for writing different types of learning outcomes (affective, cognitive) to assess student learning, instructional programs, and/or individual teaching. Using the strategies and resources above:

  • Select an assessment target (student learning, individual teaching, programmatic)
  • Select an audience (student population, course, etc)
  • Select 1 knowledge practice from the Framework and write a cognitive learning outcome 
  • Select 1 disposition from Framework and write an affective learning outcome
  • Share your assessment target, audience, & outcomes in the comment section below


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