Learning outcomes

We use learning outcomes to identify and guide the teaching and learning focus of a course, unit or learning activity.

Learning outcomes are clear and measurable statements that provide a focus for educators and learners about what is to be taught or learned, and to identify the expected student behaviours once they complete a unit or course. Learning outcomes are more specific than general aims or goals. They describe what a student will be able to do in a demonstrable and measurable way.

Learning outcomes diagram

Different types of learning outcomes work together to structure learning across courses, exit degrees, units and learning sequences. Click on the plus icons on the diagram below to see how each type is different.

Why do we need learning outcomes?

Learning outcomes provide the foundation for building assessment, learning activities and learning resources. Without clearly defined learning outcomes, it is easy for students and educators to become confused about expectations, content and focus. Many issues with teaching and learning in units can be traced back to poorly defined outcomes.

Learning outcomes have different purposes for different members of the community.

Education Performance Standards Framework

The Education Performance Standards identify the expectations of education practice at Monash – See the Education Performance Standards for more details.

Impact on student learning

Impact on educational knowledge

Impact on educational environment

Effective teaching and learning

Responsive program design

Student- centred orientation

Professional learning engagement

Pedagogical content knowledge

Education research performance

Education innovation

Education leadership


You could address marking and grading across these Practice Elements by providing evidence of how you:

  • Design measurable learning outcomes to ensure that each course/ unit/ session or task focuses student learning and prepares students to perform the required skills and knowledge
  • Lead teams to redesign or review courses and units and the learning outcomes in these
  • Ensure that the focus for teaching and assessment aligns with the learning outcomes
  • Design creative ways for students to learn so that they meet the learning outcomes