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Creating Effective Learning Outcomes

This resource is adapted from the RISE Partnerships resource “A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Learning Outcomes.”

A chapter’s candidate education program overall should be focused on transforming an unaffiliated male into a positive, contributing initiated member. For a candidate education program to be consistently effective in achieving that overall goal, everything in the program must fulfill an intended beneficial purpose. Writing learning outcomes as part of the chapter’s written candidate education program will greatly help. With defined outcomes, the chapter can then evaluate what activities, programming, requirements, etc. need to be removed or changed because they do not currently support achievement of the intended learning outcomes of the candidate education program.

Each learning outcome should include four components:

  • Audience – Individuals involved in or affected by the initiative. Likely to be candidates for most, if not all, outcomes of the candidate education program.
  • Behavior – Observable evidence that the outcome is met.
  • Condition – Circumstances in which the behavior is demonstrated.
  • Degree – A minimum standard of acceptable results.

Example: Candidates (audience) complete two hours of community service (behavior) for a local charity (condition) by the midway point of the academic term (degree).

Example: Each candidate (audience) attends (behavior) at least 90% (degree) of LEAD Phase I sessions (condition).

Consider this checklist in developing learning outcomes for the chapter’s candidate education program:

  1. Break each statement down to its simplest, more irreducible form.
  2. Refine each outcome using Audience, Behavior, Condition, and Degree.
  3. Critique using the following questions:
    1. Is the behavior easily observable and measurable?
    2. Could it be further reduced into something more specific?
    3. Do the outcomes address everything you originally intended?

Having clearly defined learning outcomes for the chapter’s candidate education program creates a strong foundation to consistently achieve the overall goal of transforming the chapter’s new members into positive, contributing initiates.

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9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
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