Measurable Learning Objectives

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What are Measurable Learning Objectives (MLO)?

Measurable Learning Objectives refers to a set of statements which clearly and precisely describe what a student intends to accomplish during the work experience.

Why have Measurable Learning Objectives?

The Coordinated Internship is an academic program. Credit is granted not for working but for the learning that occurs as a result of working. Measurable Learning Objectives are the most effective method to assess the extent and value of this type of learning.

How to develop and write Measurable Learning Objectives?

Begin by reviewing the job duties and responsibilities with the supervisor at the work site. Note areas where you can gain or develop new skills, increase your knowledge, or improve your work ethic. It is important that you avoid broad general statements and confine your objectives to those that can be accomplished during a single semester/term. Typically, an MLO combines four major variables in a single sentence. The variables or components are ACTIVITY, FORECAST, TIME FRAME, and EVALUATION. The activity is the desired outcome or expected achievement, the forecast is the proposed level of accomplishment, the time frame is the expected completion date, and the evaluation is the stated method of measurement.


By the end of the term (TIME FRAME)

I will design and build a new chair (ACTIVITY)

that meets company construction specifications (FORECAST)

as evaluated by my job supervisor (EVALUATION)

An important element in the development of an MLO is the ACTION WORD. There are

two such action words used in the examples above. The words are “design” and “build”.

Other action words are demonstrate, describe, develop, draw, discuss, operate, perform, summarize, recognize, etc.

Some important things to remember when preparing MLOs:

  1.       Avoid broad, general objectives; make them specific, measurable and attainable by the end of the semester/term.
  2.       Be sure you have the knowledge, skill, time and freedom to accomplish your objectives.
  3.       Indicate the level of achievement which you expect to obtain, expressed whenever possible in numerical terms (e.g. increase speed by 15%).


Examples with Poor Objectives

  1.       I will become a better salesperson.
  2.       I will learn how to use computers in a work environment.
  3.       I will help wire a structure for light fixtures.

Examples with Acceptable Objectives

  1.       By (date), I will increase my sales by 5 percent while keeping complaints at or below their present level as judged by the sales manager.
  2.       By (date), I will correctly produce 5 letters using Microsoft Word as evaluated by (supervisor’s name).
  3.       By the end of the term, I will correctly wire and install a minimum of 10 fluorescent light fixtures as evaluated by my supervisor


The Measurable Learning Objectives (MLOs) should clearly describe what a student plans to accomplish during the coordinated internship work experience. The following examples should help co-op students prepare solid MLOs.

“By the end of the semester, I will perform the duties of a party chief to the satisfaction of my employer.”

“By the end of the semester, I will draw maps in accordance with NCGS 47-30 as evaluated by my supervisor.”

“By the end of the semester I will perform computations and calculations to reduce field data for surveying jobs as judged by my employer.”

“By the end of my co-op term, I will be able to demonstrate proper body mechanics and be able to set up customers on the strength training system in a manner that meets the standards of my supervisor.”

“By the end of the semester, I will be able to read, evaluate, and grade student’s legal research papers under the supervision of and to the satisfaction of my supervisor.”

“By the end of the semester, I will prepare and fill all sections of a divorce pleading that meets office specifications, as evaluated by my supervisor.”

“By the end of the semester, I will master the art of speaking with clients on the phone and taking appropriate and complete messages that meet office specifications, as evaluated by my supervisor.”

“By the end of the semester, I will be able to perform preventive maintenance on equipment and return equipment back to service as evaluated by my supervisor.”

“By the end of the semester, I will be able to work safely and follow safety guidelines set forth by my company as evaluated by my supervisor.”




The Measurable Learning Objectives (MLOs) must clearly describe what you intend to accomplish during your work term. The MLOs must be reviewed by your supervisor (who can suggest modifications) during the first two weeks of the term and approved by your faculty coordinator. At the end of the work term, your supervisor will evaluate how well you accomplished each of the objectives. The suggested number of MLOs to complete is three (3).

MLO 1:_______________________________________________________________________________




MLO 2:__________________________________________________________________________________




MLO 3:_______________________________________________________________________________





Student Signature                                                                                          Date


Employer Signature                                                                                   Date


Faculty Coordinator Signature                                                                    Date