Learning objectives, taxonomy and course descriptions

Learning objectives

Learning objectives have three functions

  •  Describing what the students need to learn
  • To provide a basis for assessment and grading
  • To outline the teaching activities of the course

A learning objective describes a qualification the student must have gained after the course. Therefore, learning outcomes are most often described as "At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to ...".

A learning objective is described with a verb + noun: What the student is expected to be able to doverb with a particular topicnoun. For example, "At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to use anatomical nomenclature". You can observe if the student uses anatomical nomenclature (assessment) and do teaching activities through the course so that it is practiced (teaching activities).

Learning objectives at ST

Learning objectives for the individual courses are described in the course description. In the guidelines for course descriptions at ST about learning objectives, it is written that:

  • The learning objectives for individual courses are in overall accordance with the qualification profile of the study program
  • The learning objectives for individual courses are in accordance with the progression requirements made by the course's placement in the course of the study programme
  • The types of methods used for teaching and examination are relevant to content, purpose, and the learning objectives, and there is a necessary alignment of the course

Read more about the guidelines for study programs and course catalogues at ST (in Danish)

A learning objective usually consists of a verb and a noun:

  • The verb describes the level at which the student must be able to demonstrate his/her knowledge, qualifications, and skills. At ST, the SOLO taxonomy is used to describe the different levels
  • The noun specifies the subject in which the student must demonstrate knowledge, qualifications, and skills.

Read more about the structure of learning goals at ST educator and on taxonomies below.


A taxonomy is a classification system – in this case a hierarchical structure of learning objectives. The level is indicated by action verbs, cf. the list; the list is merely a guide as the level will also appear from the context.