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Office of Teaching & Learning

Where Development Drives Quality

ul 2.11.23

Writing Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes are specific statements that describe the knowledge, skills, and values students are expected to learn upon completion of a course. Clear articulation of learning outcomes serves as the foundation to evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process.

A student learning outcome consists of three elements:

  • An opening phrase to indicate who will demonstrate the learning. Typical opening phrases include “students will” or “graduates of the program will.”
  • An action word that clearly describes the behavior to be observed. The action must be observable, measurable and/or able to be demonstrated. The action word indicates whether the student is expected to know, do, or value something.
  • A learning statement that specifies the learning that will be demonstrated.  This statement indicates what the student should know, be able to do, or value.

A well-written student learning outcome should:

  • Use clear language. Your outcomes will be read by a number of audiences, including current students, prospective students, parents, and potential employers of your graduates. Write your outcomes in language that will allow your audience to understand what students in your program learn.
  • Contain only one learning statement. Assessment will be more effective and manageable if each student learning outcome focuses on one element of learning.
  • Be appropriate, realistic, and attainable. Students should realistically be able to achieve the learning outcome by completing your program. In addition, the type of learning expressed in the outcome should be appropriate to the student’s level (undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral student).

NLU Shared Student Learning Outcomes

The NLU Office of Assessment list six campus-wide shared student learning outcomes that fit within the conceptual framework and mission of National Louis University. They are:

  • Students acquire content and conceptual knowledge.
  • Students integrate content and conceptual knowledge into practice.
  • Students communicate effectively to others.
  • Students assess logically and critically to construct new knowledge.
  • Students discern and enact social awareness, self-awareness and respect for human diversity.
  • Students work collaboratively.

Assessing Learning Outcomes

For more information on how to assess your learning outcomes, see the Office of Teaching and Learning Assessment page


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
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