UW Continuum College Instructor Resources

Additional Resources

UW PCE Adult Learning Toolkit

How to Write Learning Objectives

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Critical Thinking and Writing Effective Learning Objectives/Outcomes

Designing Effective and Innovative Courses. Online tutorial, Carlton College

Course Design, Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt

Radical Course Revision: A Case Study, National Teaching and Learning Forum

Alignment – teaching strategies, assessment and learning outcomes

Alignment and instructional strategies

Effective Use of Learning Objectives

How to Write Learning Objectives

Writing Measurable Learning Outcomes

List of Measurable Verbs Used to Assess Learning Outcomes

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956): Cognitive Skills

A group of educators, led by Benjamin Bloom, identified a hierarchy of six categories of cognitive skills: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.  As students learn, they start with the knowledge level and progress through the hierarchy.  Thus, advanced courses should include skills at a higher level than introductory or basic skills courses.  Below you will find a list of measurable verbs to assist you in writing course objectives and assess learning outcomes.

list record underline
state define arrange
name relate describe
tell recall memorize
recall repeat recognize
label select reproduce

Comprehension Level

The successful student will restate or interpret information in their own words.

explain describe report
translate express summarize
identify classify discuss
restate locate compare
discuss review illustrate
tell critique estimate
reference interpret reiterate

Application Level

The successful student will use or apply the learned information.

apply sketch perform
use solve respond
practice construct role-play
demonstrate conduct execute
complete dramatize employ

Analysis Level

The successful student will examine the learned information critically.

analyze inspect test
distinguish categorize critique
differentiate catalogue diagnose
appraise quantify extrapolate
calculate measure theorize
experiment relate debate

Synthesis Level

The successful student will create new models using the learned information.

develop revise compose
plan formulate collect
build propose construct
create establish prepare
design integrate devise
organize modify manage