Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes are specific and measured statements of objectives and goals that instructors should apply to lessons so that learners may grasp what they are expected to gain after each lesson.

Prior to writing learning outcomes, we recommend considering Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain, and applying lesson outcomes that engage critical thinking skills, which appear at the top end of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Regarding the phrasing of lesson learning outcomes, unlike course or program outcomes which can be more general and include terms such as “understand” and “know,” lesson learning outcomes are phrased to help learners identify more precisely what they should know and be able to do.  Rather than use “understand” or “know” in lesson learning outcomes, the list below offers action verbs aligned with the knowledge levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy.



In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and colleagues developed the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, now famously called Bloom’s Taxonomy. This model allowed for the application of higher-ordered thinking skills. This model was revised in 2001. 

If you find it helpful when phrasing learning outcomes, you may use a few verbs from the list. Download a copy here.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://nyuspscaes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/blooms_taxonomy_action_verbs.pdf”]

Airasian, P., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M. C. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.