A learner-centered syllabus will clearly articulate course goals, expected learning outcomes, student responsibilities, and the criteria used to assess student performance. This kind of information makes it more likely for students to be successful in the course and for instructors to see that students have understood the material and/or gained new skills and values.

One of the more difficult steps in this process is articulating learning outcomes. What might a student be able to do or value when the course is complete?

Teach Thought provides a comprehensive list of verbs one might use when determining course learning outcomes. Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, the authors also provide some guidance on how to map your course and interpret the particular kinds of learning you promote.

For example, if a standard asks students to infer and demonstrate an author’s position using evidence from the text, there’s a lot built into that kind of task. First a student has to be able to define what an “author’s position” is and what “evidence from the text” means (Knowledge-level). They’ll then need to be able to summarize that same text (Understanding-level), interpret and infer any arguments or positions (Analysis-level), evaluate inherent claims (Evaluation-level), and then write (Creation-level) a response that demonstrates their thinking.