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Appendix 4: A guide to writing learning outcomes

Relevant verbs

      1. Relevant verbs

Relevant verbs 

A statement of a learning outcome contains an action (verb) and an object (usually a noun). 

Different verbs are used in learning outcomes to indicate the level of complexity the learning will address. Table A3.2 features six cognitive processes and appropriate verbs that can be used when writing learning outcomes. 

Table A3.2. Six cognitive processes and associated verbs that can be used when writing learning outcomes

List Explain Apply Analyse Evaluate Create
Identify Describe Examine Compare Determine Design
Recall Interpret Implement Contrast Recommend Develop
Define Classify Execute Distinguish Measure Produce
Label Demonstrate Prepare Differentiate Assess Integrate
Outline Summarise Select Organise Review Modify

Beware of vague verbs and phrases that cannot be measured:

  • Know
  • Comprehend
  • Understand
  • Appreciate
  • Familiarise
  • Study
  • Be aware
  • Become acquainted with
  • Gain knowledge of
  • Cover
  • Learn
  • Realise