Unit 4- Course and Unit/Modules Learning Outcomes


Your purpose is to help you begin to realize how to align your course outcomes with your units/modules of learning.


Congratulations for choosing to create an online course.  First, you already have a wealth of experience.

  • In the classroom courses you teach you should have clear student learning outcomes.
  • You consistently create and assemble content that supports those outcomes.
  • You also create activities, interactions and assessments that help your learners meet the outcomes.

When you teach online you do the same, however you need to create your entire online learning environment before the course begins.

Key issues to consider when planning your online class

While the basic principles of curriculum preparation and development used in face-to-face classes are still applicable to online courses, online components add an extra layer of complexity. However, it also offers an opportunity for students to interact and learn in ways that traditional face-to-face teaching can’t offer.

How students learn in an online context is different to that of the face-to-face environment and careful consideration and planning are required to ensure a student’s online learning experience is effective, engaging and aligned with the learning outcomes for the class.

There are several issues to consider when planning your online class:

  • Focusing on pedagogy over technology.
  • Constructively aligning assessment with learning outcomes.
  • Integrating digital literacy.
  • Knowing who your learners are.
  • Presenting your content.
  • Using the resources you need

As you work, strive for as much clarify, accuracy, depth, and breadth as you reasonably can. Write out your understanding of each element using your own words. Don’t copy and paste or parrot back information.

As much as you can, without looking at the material, write your understanding of each element. To the extent that you can do this on your own is the extent to which you have command of the concept.

The extent to which you have to use the material to create your wording demonstrates the degree to which you do not have command of the concept. If you find it difficult to write out an accurate and substantive description of each element, go back and review the material, then try again.

Your goal is to get to a place where the concept is clear and accessible to you at all times.

Essential Idea: There are eight structures that define thinking. Learning to analyze thinking requires practice in identifying these structures in use.

Course Outcomes

Course outcomes describe what students should know or be able to do by the end of the course. Course outcomes shape desired lesson outcomes and help to focus on activities.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Outcomes catalog the overarching “student products” of the course and are the evidence that the goals or objectives were achieved.
  2. Outcomes are statements that describe or list measurable and essential mastered content-knowledge—reflecting skills, competencies, and knowledge that students have achieved and can demonstrate upon successfully completing a course.
  3. Outcomes express higher-level thinking skills that integrate course content and activities and can be observed as a behavior, skill, or discrete useable knowledge upon completing the course.
  4. Outcomes are exactly what assessments are intended to show — specifically what the student will be able to do upon completing the course.
  5. An assessable outcome can be displayed or observed and evaluated against criteria.
  6. Outcomes are clear and measurable criteria for guiding the teaching, learning, and assessment process in the course.

Course learning outcomes are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do at the end of your course.


The concept of alignment is intended to convey the idea that all critical course components work together to ensure that learners achieve the desired learning outcomes. Measurable learning objectives  form the basis of alignment in a course.

Course Learning Outcomes  
The specified action by the learners is observable.
The specified action by the learner is measurable.
The learning objectives or competencies are simply written.

Unit 4- Practice

Complete the following activity: Course Outcomes & Learning Units 

Unit 4- Reflection & Badge

Complete the following self-assessment: Unit 4- Course Outcomes & Learning Units/Modules Reflection & Badge

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