A course description provides a general overview of course content and fills in some of the blanks that learning outcomes don’t address.
It is generally expressed in a narrative way, and, while it may contain some of the same information as the learning outcomes for the course, it contains far more detail about content. Here is an example of the learning outcomes for an Intermediate Drawing class:
• Students will be able to evaluate and draw objects using correct proportions, perspective and lighting (value contrast) in a series of drawings.
• Students will demonstrate their ability to conduct visual analysis of drawings (in terms of form, color, line, etc.) through oral and written exercises.
• Students will demonstrate in their drawings an ability to use the medium to intentionally express complex ideas.
Contrast that with the following course description for this course:
“The purpose of this course is to enhance the student’s understanding of two-dimensional form and how to communicate with the visual elements of drawing. It builds upon the fundamental visual principals learned in foundations classes, and furthers the student’s ability to use drawing as a means of ideation. Students will be able to evaluate an object and draw it correctly; analyze their drawings and use them in the ideation process; and develop a consistent visual form language for drawing.”