College and university level education is quite different compared to secondary school, the outcomes of most of the courses are cognitive-based—related to conceptual and thought-provoking instructions. This is why each course requires different outcomes for the learners in the class.

Here are some of the general types of learning outcomes that students need to familiarise with for a better learning experience.

1. Psychomotor

The ability to understand and acknowledge scientific things and concepts correctly in order to accomplish a particular purpose. It is more of a physical performance and requires eye-to-eye coordination. For example, medical and nursing procedures, lab processes, animal control and grooming, assembling, testing, machines maintenance, playing musical instruments , etc. In short, the use of face, voice and body accounts for psychomotor.

2. Affective

The ability to display different emotions and affects. For example, learning how to communicate and handle different types of clients, exhibit kind and needed besides manner for the patients, displaying tolerance for difficult colleagues and manager, practicing dynamism, confident behaviour, conflict resolution and negotiation skills. Affective outcomes locate the emotional instances you want to develop including receiving, responding and valuing. Apparently, as a teacher, you cannot see the inner emotions of the students, but you can always closely observe the demonstrations of these emotions. For example, students enrolled in a Sales Management course must learn how to display a neutral, yet attractive behaviour, in order to tempt the customers into making a purchase. Such abilities are used in a plethora of disciplines.

3. Social

Social ability is all about relevant, productive behaviour with others in the society, for instance, cooperation with teammates, demonstrating leadership in critical situations, assertiveness in different conflicts. The outcomes from social abilities is one of the most reliable and powerful that teachers acquire. Teachers want their students to collaborate with each other in group-based projects, as they consider the combined output and the feedback provided by each member related to each other as the essentials for gauging the social performance of each learner.

4. Ethical

The decision-making ability that tends to consider all the moral implications and repercussions on the people surrounding us, the environment, and even the animals. For example, medical discussions revolve around the decisions to withhold care, transplant, triage, prolong life, etc., or a lawyer’s morality on how to represent his or her client in the courtroom, the charges pressed, and so on.

Today many colleges and universities emphasise on the fact that students should understand moral considerations they come across not only in their academic tenure, but also in their professional and social lives as well.

5. Cognitive

“Cognition” is about the use of your intuitions and knowledge and thinking about facts, terms, concepts, ideas, patterns, relationships, conclusions, etc. For example, understanding and remembering, encoding, decoding and comprehending, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluating.

Remember, college and university degree programmes encourage students to think out-of-the-box and in a critical manner if they are to understand the concepts and theories of every course from different perspectives. This is why they are advised to comprehend different learning outcomes and relate them with their own learning style as appropriate.


Randy Olsen is a certified educational psychologist and conducts related seminars and workshops on routine basis in different institutions worldwide. Besides his job and passion to help students acquire their better selves in the classroom, Randy is also a professional online dissertation writing service provider with all the major academic disciplines under his expertise.