Writing Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Writing Clear and Appropriate SLOs

A Student Learning Outcome (SLO) states what students will know, understand, and be able to do as a result of an educational experience. Follow these guidelines to create SLOs for educational experiences, in programs, courses, and co-curricular activities.


  1. Is appropriate for the level of performance expected from the educational experience, which may draw from Bloom's taxonomy.

  2. Specifies the behavior the student will do using an action verb, such as the examples that align with Bloom's taxonomy.

  3. Provides some detail regarding the context of the behavior, such as information related to the educational experience.

  4. Identifies the quality or condition of performance expected as appropriate for the context (e.g., "clearly," "accurately," or "appropriately").

  5. Is measurable and consistent with the assessments used.

  6. Maintains simplicity by focusing on one action verb.

  7. Avoids wording such as "know...," "understand...," "be familiar with...," "have increased knowledge of...," and "learn..."


UMD Program SLO examples:

Communication Sciences and  Disorders: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the basic human communication process, including the biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural basis.

Liberal Education: Students will demonstrate knowledge of how cultural, social, and/or structural factors influence human social behavior.

Physics: Students will apply the laws of physics to new situations, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Masters of Business Administration: Students will use appropriate quantitative tools and techniques to analyze business problems.

Masters of Music: Students will make stylistic and artistic choices in performance that reflect careful study and scrutiny of relevant historical and cultural practices.

KAML Supplemental Course Instruction: Students will evaluate sources based on information need and the context in which the information will be used.