Learning Outcomes

Resource Title:
Learning Outcomes


Graphic for internationalizing the Curriculum

"It is imperative that the University help our students, whether they are resident or non-resident, domestic, or international, to prepare for lives of significant international engagement. We must give them tools to understand, to appreciate, to critique, and to engage. To live, lead, and thrive in tomorrow’s world, it is more vital than ever for our students to have ample and robust opportunities to expand their international horizons, and to experience an education commensurate with those horizons."

                                         - U-M Accreditation Report 2010

The value of identifying and prioritizing learning outcomes

Preparing students for global citizenship is a lofty goal, and each course will prepare students differently. What is a key learning outcome in one course will be a skill that is assumed in another course. At the same time, what students are trying to achieve varies across every classroom.

Identifying and prioritizing learning outcomes gives focus to both teaching and learning. Making learning outcomes explicit can help students find the right fit for their skill level, and help them be aware of the multiple dimensions to learning in an internationalized curriculum. Making outcomes explicit also guides faculty in course design, to optimize teaching strategies and assignment of student work.

This page lists different categories and examples of outcomes that can help instructors identify their own priorities.

Learning outcomes

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Investigate Global Issues
  • Analyze international interconnections and interdependence
  • Analyze historical, political, economic, technological, and cultural events that shape social interactions, with attention to both international differences and global trends
  • Reflect on the connections between information and skills learned in courses focused specifically on global issues with the knowledge and skills gained in other courses and experiences
  • Compare knowledge emerging from different global contexts, within a specific disciplinary framework or in an interdisciplinary framework
  • Formulate research questions with an international focus
Develop critical and reflective perspectives on difference
  • Recognize and express one's own perspective on situations, events and issues and identify influences on that perspective
  • Appreciate perspectives different from one's own, with attention to the processes of dialogue and analysis that make differences clearer
  • Become critically reflective of one's own cultural origins, practices, and habits of thought
  • Be able to critically discuss how cultural contexts and discourses affect individual perspectives
  • Develop empathy
  • Develop an increased interest in different people and cultures
  • Reduce personal fear of the unknown
Acquire intercultural communication skills
  • Develop strategies for speaking and opening inquiry that minimize the assumptions made about others
  • Develop capacity to have one's own assumptions challenged implicitly or explicitly by others
  • Listen to and communicate effectively with diverse people, using appropriate verbal and nonverbal behavior, language and strategies
  • Develop strategies to use in contexts where language fluency varies among a group in conversation
  • Recognize how different audiences perceive different meanings in a given piece of information
  • Develop strategies for mutual understanding and mutual respect for gaps in understanding
Build meaningful cross-cultural collaborations
  • Build relationships with culturally diverse peers
  • Engage with others whose views on matters such as authority and decision-making are different from one's own
  • Facilitate effective strategies to engage conflict productively and to resolve unproductive conflict in multicultural settings
  • Form mutually respectful professional collaborations 
Develop enhanced social responsibility and civic participation
  • Engage in social justice efforts and community service (local, regional and global)
  • Develop skills for collaborative, reciprocal relations in community engagement
  • Develop capacities for self-reflection  

Barker, T.S., and Smith, H.W. (1996). A Perspective of a New Taxonomy for International Education.
International Education, 26, 40-55.

Crabtree, R. (2008). Theoretical Foundations for International Service Learning.
Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 15(1), 18-36.

Desoff, A. (2006, March/ April). Who's Not Going Abroad?
International Educator, XV(2), 20-27.

Hovland, K. (2009). Global Learning: What Is It? Who is Responsible for it?
Peer Review, 11(4). 

Johnston, J.S., and Spalding. J.R. (1996). Internationalizing the Curriculum. 
Handbook of the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Comprehensive Guide to Purposes, Structures, Practices, and Change (pp. 416-434).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Pascarella, E.T., and Terenzini, P.T. How College Affects Students. A Third Decade of Research Volume 2 (pp. 315-316).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Global Competence Matrix

Source URL: https://crlt.umich.edu/internationalization/learning-outcomes