Instructors may experience varying levels of responsibility when it comes time to adopt learning outcomes. In some instances, school administrators, department heads, or other organizations may provide instructors with a list of established standard learning outcomes that relate to the courses they teach. In other instances, instructors must determine and define the learning outcomes for their courses.

In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, instructors were asked to select all of the influences on learning objective creation at their institution.

Instructors' top determinants of learning objectives

The majority of instructors, 48%, revealed that learning objectives are provided to them at the departmental level. Our results indicate that the greater institution, as well as accrediting bodies, industry organizations, and state guidelines also factor into the process. This may give instructors a hand in shaping their learning objectives, though it can be a challenge to work within pre-established parameters.

In a close second place, 45% of instructors have the liberty to craft their own. If you’re able to either define your own learning outcomes or customize your university’s guidelines to fit your unique needs, what can you do? Our paper explores this topic and offers a number of suggestions to help you develop learning outcomes that match the standardized learning outcomes, while still aligning them to the specifics of your course.

»Download our latest Market Insights Report: Defining Unique Learning Outcomes and Measuring Student Success.