The OUTCOME Primer: Envisioning Learning Outcomes

By:  Ruth Stiehl and Lori Sours


PREFACE: The OUTCOME Primers Series 2.0
Once a Fad—Now a Fact! xiii
Distinguishing Our Work xiv
PART ONE: BACKGROUND—Removing Any Confusion around Learning Outcomes
Content, Competencies and Outcomes—need it all be so confusing?
Learning Outcomes: A New Framework 3
Distinguishing an Outcome-Based Framework from Content- and Competency-Based Frameworks 4
PART TWO: Envisioning Learning with a Crayon
Never invest in any idea you can’t illustrate with a crayon. —Peter Lynch in Beating the Street
Envisioning Learning—Painting a Picture in the Mind’s Eye 21
Envisioning Outcomes—Outside the Classroom 25
Envisioning outcomes requires seeing outside the classroom box.
The Importance of Starting with Life Roles 27
Designing Backwards—Outside In 31
PART THREE: Creating Learning Outcomes
Outcome statements describe a vision of what learners will be able to  DO as a result of their learning.
Distinguishing Outcomes from Competencies 35
Outcome Statements for AEP 212: Alternative Energy Systems
Creating Robust Outcome Statements 37
“Communicates effectively” is not very useful.
Improving Your Outcome Statements 40
Aligning Learning Outcomes Up and Down the Organization 53
The lines that we draw on our neat organizational diagrams have turned into walls that no one can scale, penetrate or even peer over.  —Frank Deprez and Rene Tissen in Zero Space
Developing Significant Outcomes: A Facilitator’s Guide 57
PART FOUR: POGs, COGs, WOGs (Even SOGs If You Like)
It’s as simple as asking four questions. It’s answering them that’s hard.
The Outcome Guide 73
What the Outcome Guide Does and Does Not Do 74
The POG 77
POG/COG/WOG Template 77
PART FIVE: Continuing Your Learning
In Conclusion 83
Next Steps 83
Appendix A: Sample Learning Outcome Statements
Examples of Institutional Learning Outcomes 85
Examples of Program Learning Outcomes 86
Examples of Course Learning Outcomes 92
Examples of Workshop Learning Outcomes 93
Appendix B: Our Preferred Terms for Learning Outcomes Planning
Related Readings 101
Acknowledgements 105
About the Authors 106