Brainstorming Course Vision, Goals and Outcomes

By TILT Staff

As you begin developing or improving a course—and before committing to any assignments and activities—think about the course in the context of overall curriculum and the program goals. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish in the course as well as what learning goals and outcomes you would like your students to meet; then brainstorm your vision, goals and outcomes.

Questions to Ask Yourself Include:

  • What are the key concepts that taken together best describe your vision for the course?
  • If they are different, what are the learning goals that would map to those key concepts?
  • What do you want students to know and to be able to do upon completing the course?
  • What topics must be addressed to help students reach the learning goals?
  • How many student contact hours are required in this course?

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes:

  • Course Goals are the goals of instruction; they identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes a student should have upon completing this course.
  • Course Goals are specific to each course in the program and support both the Program and Institutional goals.
  • Learning Outcomes include new knowledge, skill, and attitudes that result from accomplishing the Course Goals.
  • Knowledge-based outcomes refer to the acquisition of new knowledge, i.e. students are able to recall, describe and identify new knowledge; students are able to critically reflect, analyze or judge information and build upon prior learning.
  • Skills-based outcomes refer to the application of knowledge in similar or new content areas, i.e. students are able to apply concepts and operate, assemble, install, build, or conduct some type of process or manipulate objects or materials.
  • Attitude-based outcomes refer to a development of or a change in intrapersonal areas, i.e. students gain self-awareness and an awareness of others; they question, justify, advocate, defend, challenge, endorse, dispute, and/or persuade about a condition, event or action.


  • Identify five to seven goals and/or measurable outcomes.
  • Identify at least one knowledge-based, one skills-based, and one attitude-based outcome.
  • Create outcomes that are measurable and that map directly to each course goal.
  • Write outcomes using the best verb for each learning category.
  • You may want to include some version of your course vision, goals and learning outcomes in your course syllabus.

To Learn More, Please View:


Shaun Beaty – TILT Director of Course Development and Instructional Technology

Peter Connor – TILT Web Content Writer and Editor