Learning Outcomes Review Checklist

Learning outcomes communicate to students what they will know or be able to do by the end of your module, class, course, or program of study. Many practitioners use the acronym SMART to determine whether or not they have written effective learning outcomes that are Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Realistic, and Timebound.

The following questions will help you determine whether you have written an effective learning outcome:

  • Is the outcome specific? 
  • Is the outcome measurable or observable?
  • Is the outcome aligned with the broader outcomes of the course/program?
  • Is the outcome realistic and achievable for students?
  • Is the outcome time bound--does it identify a clear timeframe for achievement (e.g., by the end of this course, students will be able to…)?


Lawlor, K. B. (2012). Smart goals: How the application of smart goals can contribute to achievement of student learning outcomes. In Developments in business simulation and experiential learning: Proceedings of the annual ABSEL conference (Vol. 39).