Teaching & Learning

Intended Learning Outcomes

Diagram showing ILOs influencing the design of Assessments, Learning Activities, and content 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) are statements about what a student will achieve upon successful completion of a unit of study. ILOs establish a foundation upon which the rest of the unit is built: assessment tasks are designed to measure student achievement of ILOs; learning activities are designed to teach students what they need so they can complete the assessment tasks and demonstrate achievement of the ILOs; and content and materials are chosen to support student participation in, and completion of, learning activities that will help them to achieve the ILOs.

Learning outcomes describe what a learner is expected to know, understand and be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning (Vlasceanu, Grunberg & Parlea, 2007).

Learning outcomes identify for students (and for the unit coordinator and other teaching staff) the minimum requirements to award a unit. That is, ILOs describe the specific intellectual and practical skills students require to be awarded a pass for the unit. Students who achieve an HD for the unit, therefore, demonstrate attainment above these minimum requirements.

This website provides a suggested step-by-step process for writing and refining the ILOs for your unit, as well as a more detailed overview of the role, functions, and components of well-written learning outcomes. You may also find chapter 7 of Biggs & Tang (2011), "Designing intended learning outcomes", a useful read as it provides a detailed discussion of the principles involved in the design of intended learning outcomes,

ILOs components icon

Components of an Intended Learning Outcome

Well written intended learning outcomes make clear to students what they would need to do, and how well they would need to do it, to successfully complete a unit of work. This page looks at how this can be done.

Take a look at this overview of the core components of a well-written intended learning outcome.

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Five Step Process

This suggested approach to writing and refining learning outcomes has been written specifically for units being taught at the University of Tasmania, but many of the core ideas are equally applicable to any organised module of study or course.
Follow these steps to write and analyse Intended Learning Outcomes for your subject.

Go to the start of the 5 step process for writing intended learning outcomes.


Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university (4th ed). Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill. 

Vlasceanu, L., Grunberg, L., & Parlea, D. (2007). Quality assurance and accreditation: A glossary of basic terms and definitions. Bucharest: UNESCO.