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Office of Institutional Research
6230 North Fairbanks,
Suite 205
Hanover, NH 03755-3566
Phone: 603-646-6453
Fax: 603-646-0294
E-mail: Institutional.Research@Dartmouth.EDU

Developing SMART and MATURE Outcomes

Learning outcomes should be:

Specific: Clear and definite terms describing expected abilities, knowledge, values, attitudes, and performance

Measurable: It is feasible to get the data, data are accurate and reliable; it can be assessed more than one way

Aggressive but Attainable: Consider stretch targets to improve program

Results-oriented: Describe what standards are expected of students

Time-bound: Describe where you would like to be within a specified period of time


When measuring learning outcomes make sure that the measureā€¦

Matches: directly to the outcome it is trying to measure

Appropriate methods: uses appropriate direct and indirect method

Targets: indicates desired level of performance

Useful: measures help identify what to improve

Reliable: based on tested, known methods

Effective and Efficient: characterize the outcome concisely


Adapted from Paula Krist, Director of Operational Effectiveness and Assessment Support, University of Central Florida. Presentation at the Annual Forum of Association for Institutional Research, Chicago, IL,  May 2006.

Last Updated: 12/19/08