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Aims and outcomes

AIMS

Aims serve as broad purposes or goals. They are generally a statement of the over-arching intentions
of the teacher when planning a lesson. They are not statements of what students will learn or do.
Aims should be brief. It is common to have one main aim.

When thinking about your aims, the following questions should help:

What is the purpose/goal/intention of this lesson?

What is the lesson trying to achieve?

Verbs that are often used when writing aims:

understand, introduce, practise, demonstrate, revise, provide, reinforce, explore, enable

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes (LOs) are the skills and knowledge which students should be able to
demonstrate after the lesson. All LOs should be assessable through observation and/or
formal/informal assessment. It is therefore useful when writing LOs to think how you could
assess/observe the oum; if you cannot assess/observe LOs, they are not LOs.

Learning outcomes are statements of what you intend the students should be able to do as a result
of completing the lesson, so it is helpful to phrase them as:

By the end of this lesson students:

-should be able to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

-will be able to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

-are expected to be able to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

LOs can be knowledge based (e.g. students have an understanding) or skills based (students are able
to do something) –see the diagram on page 5 (a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy).

You are likely to have 2 – 4 LOs per lesson.

Learning outcomes must:


 be clear and precise
 be learner-centred
 specify an outcome that can be observed or measured
 be realistic and achievable.

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It is possible that LOs could be used to indicate differentiation within the group e.g.:

-some students will/should be able to xxxxxxxxx

-students with greater fluency will/should xxxxxxxxx

-students with less fluency will/should xxxxxxxx

The table below includes some of the verbs that can be used in LOs. The list is not comprehensive.
For a more comprehensive list, see page 4. For a visual representation of the levels of ability see
page 5.

Low Level of ability What do we expect students to know? arrange, define, label, list,
(knowledge) What do we expect them to recall and memorise, name, order, recall
describe?
Higher level How do students convey their clarify, classify, discuss, explain,
(understanding) understanding and recall? identify, recognise, record, review,
select, summarise
Can students identify and explain analyse, compare, contrast, design,
relationships? distinguish, infer, investigate, plan,
question
Can they make judgements? argue, assess, criticise, defend,
Can they construct an argument? evaluate, justify, rate, support

In summary, when writing your LOs you should consider the following:

1. What students should be able to do as a result of completing the lesson.

2. How they would be able to demonstrate this and how you could assess/observe it.

Sources:
1. Good Practice Guide on Writing Aims and Learning Outcomes
http://capd.qmul.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Aims-and-Outcomes-Guide.pdf
2. Guides for Learning and Teaching Outcomes: Writing Learning Outccmes; Nottingham Trent University
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwjolciR177QAhXsK8AKHb4KA3QQFgggMAE&url=ht
tp%3A%2F%2Fwww.ntu.ac.uk%2Fcpld%2Fdocument_uploads%2F169768.docx&usg=AFQjCNG2FSHmYSnIP83RRR_edgyRjR5Ibw
3. A Guide to Writing Programme and Module Level Learning Outcomes
http://www2.hull.ac.uk/administration/pdf/LEAP%20Quality%20-%20H%20-
%20H2%20Guide%20to%20writing%20Aims%20and%20Learning%20Outcomes.pdf
4. Writing assessable learning outcomes
http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/curriculum/learning_outcomes/writing_assessable_outcomes.php

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Examples of aims and LOs.

Aim(s) of the lesson To explore the differences between, summarising, paraphrasing and direct
quotation.
To provide controlled practice in paraphrasing at sentence level.

Student-focused learning By the end of the lesson students should be able to:
outcome(s) - understand the difference between a paraphrase, a summary and a direct
quotation and how they are used.
- be able to effectively paraphrase a sentence using a given structure.
- follow a series of steps in order to extract the main points from a short
text and write a summary of it in their own words.

Aim(s) of the lesson To introduce the features of a successful presentation.

Student-focused learning By the end of the lesson students the students will:
outcome(s) -understand the features of a successful presentation.
-be able to use some key functional expressions for delivering a
presentation.
-have decided on a topic for a future formal presentation.

Aim(s) of the lesson To reinforce the elements of a ‘good’ simple paragraph.

Student-focused learning By the end of the lesson students should be able to:
outcome(s) -recognise what makes a ‘good’ topic sentence
-identify different types of supporting sentence
-produce a simple paragraph.

Aim(s) of the lesson To practise reading for gist and speaking on the topic of unusual places to
stay.
To practise locating claims and identifying supporting and contradictory
facts in a text.
Student-focused learning By the end of the lesson, the students will:
outcome(s) -be able to identify key points in a text.
-have extended their vocabulary of unusual places to stay.
-will be able to identify and critically analyse claims and facts in a text.

Aim(s) of the lesson To provide students with opportunities to practise oral communication
skills.

Student-focused learning By the end of the lesson, the students will:


outcome(s) -demonstrate greater oral fluency.
-be able to describe everyday situations.
-be able to explain simple reasons for actions.

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List of Measurable Verbs Used to Assess Learning Outcomes (Bloom’s Taxonomy)

http://www.fractuslearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/blooms-taxonomy-verbs.png

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This is a revised view of Bloom’s taxonomy (the levels have been renamed).

https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/