# Difference between Learning Outcome and Learning Objective

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**Key Difference:** Learning Outcome refers to the expectations kept from the student at the end of the course. At the end of a course, many teachers take a test to determine what the student has learned from the course syllabus. Learning objective is described as what the student can expect from the teacher at the end of the course. It is actually the opposite of the outcome. In learning objective, the subject matter that will be covered during the duration of course can be called as learning objective.

Goals, aims, objectives and outcomes are terms that are often used in educational settings. These are used to determine what is to be taught by the teacher and what is expected of students at the end of the program. One of the major reasons to use such terms is to determine if the course is successful or if there are any changes that are required to the course to teach it in any other way or any other methods that can be used to help make the course more effective. Learning outcome and learning objective are two terms that are often confusing for many people as they believe they refer to the same things in learning. However, they are not. These are used to refer to different things in learning.

Learning Outcome refers to the expectations kept from the student at the end of the course. At the end of a course, many teachers take a test to determine what the student has learned from the course syllabus. The outcome determines how effective the course was in teaching the student and how determined the student was to learn. It also helps uncover any glitches in the learning program that can help the teacher understand how effective their teaching method is. Learning outcomes are determined using tests and projects. Tests help understand how much the student understood, while projects help determine how well can the student apply the learning in real-life scenarios. Learning outcomes is basically the outcome of the syllabus. The outcome does not indicate the methodologies used by the professor to teach the subject matter or what activities are undertaken by the students to learn and understand the subject matter. It will only indicate at the end of the course, how much the student understood from the subject matter. The professor can also state the outcome expected at the beginning of the class.

Learning objective is described as what the student can expect from the teacher at the end of the course. It is actually the opposite of the outcome. In learning objective, the subject matter that will be covered during the duration of course can be called as learning objective. It determines what the course will have provided to the student. It can be described as what is the ‘added value’ of the teaching. Learning objective determine what the student will be able to understand after the course is completed and what the teacher will have covered in the duration of the course. Learning objectives are specific, attainable, realistic and measureable.

To many the terms are often used interchangeably, however the above paragraphs state the small difference that exists between the two. While, learning outcome is what the student can expect from the course, objective is what the teacher will have taught the student by the end of the course. Both of the terms are used together to gauge the effectiveness of a course and how the course was effective for the student. It helps determine what the student learned and what the teacher taught.

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*Image Courtesy: cmu.edu*

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