Select Page

Writing Global Student Learning Outcomes

A student learning outcome is a statement that describes what the student will know or be able to do after completing the course. When writing these learning goals, it is important to keep assessment in mind: each student learning outcome should contain an element that can be measured, either quantitatively or qualitatively. Specific, measurable verbs can be helpful. As you design your course, you may find it helpful to think through how your assignments and readings, your grading criteria for assignments, and the components of the overall class grade relate to your student learning outcomes for the course.

Student learning outcomes are unique to your course

Your Global Scholar (300/400 level) or Global Citizenship Course (USP requirement, 100/200 level) must adapt at least two of the general Global Student Learning Outcomes from the list of eight below.

Global Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will gain knowledge of global systems, movements, institutions of cooperation and / or fundamental international agreements.
  2. Students will acquire knowledge of and appreciation for diverse beliefs, ideas, traditions and / or geographical, social, political or economic systems.
  3. Students will examine how diversity in value systems and cultures and / or inequities among geographical, social, political, or economic systems have shaped past and / or contemporary global challenges and opportunities.
  4. Students will be able to recognize the construction of identity as shaped by cultural heritage and / or patterns of power or privilege.
  5. Students will gain competency or familiarity with different forms of intercultural communication.
  6. Students will recognize diverse methodological or disciplinary lenses used to examine global challenges, past or present.
  7. Students will recognize the connections, past or present, between personal experiences, local action and global impact.
  8. Students will critically, creatively, independently and / or collaboratively engage with global challenges and opportunities.

Do not simply copy and paste two or more of these eight into your syllabus. A good deal of flexibility is written into these eight (note the use of OR, etc.) so that instructors from many different disciplines can adapt or revise the learning outcomes such that they fit their discipline and course goals and are written for students to understand. You may wish to consult Bloom’s Taxonomy Action Verbs as you think about how to adapt several of these to your specific course.


The following sample is from a syllabus by professor Heike Alberts in Geography.
Notice how she has adapted four of the global student learning outcomes specifically to her discipline and the course. Moreover her course student learning outcomes are written for the student.

Student Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain how geographers study and understand complex issues in the Latin American countries.
  • Recognize and appreciate the diversity in landscapes, climates, languages, religions, cultures and living conditions across Latin America.
  • Understand how Latin America is connected to the United States and the rest of the world.
  • Critically evaluate how Latin American countries are affected by and respond to global problems such as climate change, conflict and poverty.
The following sample is from a syllabus by Professor James Krueger in Political Science.
Four global learning goals are adapted to his discipline and the focus of the course (Southeast Asian Politics).

Student Learning Outcomes

In this course students will…

  • Gain knowledge of, institutions of political and economic cooperation among and beyond Southeast Asian countries.
  • Acquire knowledge of and appreciation for diverse beliefs, ideas, traditions, and understand their impact on local, state and regional political systems.
  • Recognize diverse methodological lenses used to examine colonialism and its legacies within and among Southeast Asian states.
  • Be able to recognize the construction of identity as shaped by cultural heritage and patterns of power and privilege throughout modern Southeast Asian states.