By the end of this guide you will be able to:

  • Understand why learning outcomes are useful

Learning outcomes are at the foundation of all content at Ministry of Testing and are created at the very start of content planning. This may sound over the top if you’ve never heard of them or see them as extra admin blocking your idea submissions. But this is certainly not the case. 

Learning outcomes are incredibly valuable and powerful tools for helping you design and develop effective content that meets your goals and the needs of your audience. They can be tricky to create at first, but once you get the hang of it, they’ll become second nature. They’re so brilliant, we’re confident you’ll use them when creating content for any purpose from now on.

In this guide, we’ll cover what learning outcomes are, their benefits and how to write them in three easy steps. But let’s start with an example of how learning outcomes can help your audience.

Which Talk Excerpt Gives the Clearest Picture of What’s Being Covered?

Talk A on bug detectionTalk B on bug detection
Join me in this discussion of how intuition and tacit knowledge influence how humans recognise bugs.

By the end of this talk, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify how tacit and explicit knowledge are used in bug detection
  • Recognise the benefits of being able to acquire interactional expertise and tacit knowledge
  • Assess if testers in your team can develop interactional expertise
  • Evaluate the implications of how your team’s location, independence and diversity affects shared tacit knowledge and bug recognition potential
Join me in this discussion of how intuition and tacit knowledge influence how humans recognise bugs.

Starting with just a little theory and examples, we’ll move quickly on to explore the implications for how you lead the process of discovery, how to balance tester integration and independence, and how to harness the diversity amongst members of your testing team.


Talk A and B are the same talk. It’s a throwback to Iain McCowatt’s talk on Bug Detection from 2015. A time before we knew the awesome benefits of learning outcomes. Talk A makes use of learning outcomes and talk B is a snippet from the original abstract.

We hope you identified that talk A is the more useful excerpt from the audience's perspective. The learner can read talk A, and the outcomes let them know exactly what to expect to gain from watching the talk and evaluate if it’ll be useful to them.

However, creating learning outcomes would also have been useful for Iain as it would have helped him design and create his talk. We’ll look more into the benefits of learning outcomes for content creators and learners later in this guide. 

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