Teaching & Learning

Session Outcomes (Module Outcomes)

Session learning outcomes provide teachers with a clear focus for the learning activities and materials they select for each session or module they teach. 

Similarly, session learning outcomes assist students to engage in intentional learning, which is likely to lead to higher levels of achievement

Because the ILOs of a unit define what students will know, understand and be able to do at the end of the unit, and progress towards these is typically incremental, it can be difficult for students to connect the learning activities they are engaged in at the start or middle of a unit with these end goals. In addition, when students do not know or understand the reason for or goal of what they are being asked to do, they will not be as motivated, and may not focus their time and energy as effectively. For these reasons, it is valuable to provide students with clear learning outcomes for every session and module in your unit.

Defining session and module outcomes can help to break down unit ILOs into smaller components, which can help to ensure that everything you wish students to be able to do, they are taught to do within your unit. Having session and module level outcomes will help the planning and design of a unit, as these will help you to map out the learning progress/journey that students follow, and identify any gaps in supporting development of the ILOs, as well as any areas where insufficient scaffolding is provided to students.

When defining learning outcomes for sessions or modules, in addition to being guided by the ILOs for the unit, you should also be guided by the assessment criteria used for the unit's assessment tasks.

There are a range of different approaches to determining session learning outcomes, and the best one will depend on your role in the unit, and the level of involvement you have in the overall design. Ideally, the definition of learning outcomes will come before decisions about learning activities and selection of materials.


ILO: Communicate the risk factors for chronic disease in Australia at a level designed for the general public as well as health professionals.

Session/Module LOs: a) identify the risk factors for diabetes; b) explain the risk factors for diabetes in plain English;

ILO: Apply legal and ethical principles in business to organisational decision making.

Session LOs: a) define the concept of business ethics; b) argue for or against the need for corporate social responsibility; c) apply a code of ethics to ethical dilemmas

ILO: Conduct statistical modelling for, and report the results and predictions to, a client

Module LOs: a) match modelling techniques with data sets; b) select the best modelling technique for a range of data analysis purposes; c) check the validity of data from a model; d) use statistical models to make predictions; e) use statistical models to generate estimations

As you can see from these examples, the module and session learning outcomes provide students with details about the things they will need to know, understand, and be able to do in order to achieve the unit ILOs