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printKeywords: intended learning outcomes, skill, skills, attainment, obtain, practice, curriculum design, communication, activities, module, programme

What is it?

Outcomes are specific descriptions of what a student has demonstrated and understood at the completion of an activity or course. Each outcome is rated by some sort of scale. Other terms for outcomes are 'Competencies' and 'Goals'.

In simple terms, outcomes are similar to sub components of a grade. A grade is an assessment of overall performance that may include tests, participation, attendance and projects. Outcomes assess specific levels of knowledge through a series of statements, that may be coded with numbers or letters. Thus an overall grade can be given for a course, along with statements about specific competencies in the form of outcomes.

Why use it?

UCL programmes and modules have intended learning outcomes that define the skills it is expected students will obtain from their studies.

It is useful to show students how each module and activity leads towards them obtaining these learning outcomes. It is also useful for teaching staff to understand this and therefore help them to identify any gaps.

Who can use it?

Course administrators and tutors can add outcomes and use them in a course and for particular activities. They can then mark students against those outcomes and see an overview of this in the Outcomes report.

Students can view their outcome results.

Before I start...

When creating a new outcome you should set up a new scale first. Further guidance on Scales is available from moodledocs.

There are some outcomes available for you to use already, and you can create and add your own outcomes. If you want to use outcomes across an entire programme or department, please contact Digital Education to request they add outcomes globally for anyone to select. You should provide the outcomes export file (see below).

Meeting the Baseline

The UCL E-Learning Baseline suggests the following for Orientation:

  •  2.1 Include the Module Syllabus and Intended Learning Outcomes - Include these directly in Moodle, or via a link to the module handbook or departmental website.

How do I use them?

  1. Choose or define some outcomes for your course.
  2. For each activity, choose which of these outcomes apply using the checkbox in the activity's settings page.
  3. When grading that activity, grade each student using the Outcome Scales. Note: You can also edit the grades in the Grader report (useful for modules that don't feature inbuilt grading).
  4. Use the outcomes as part of the assessment for students, or look at the Outcomes report for some useful feedback on how students in the class, in general, are performing.

Add new outcomes

You can either create new outcomes manually following the steps below or import outcomes by navigating to the Import outcomes tab and uploading a csv file (see Outcomes on moodledocs).

  1. Go to Course administration > Outcomes > Edit Outcomes.
  2. Click the Add a new outcome button.
  3. Define the outcome by adding full name, short name and choosing, or creating a new (comma-separated) scale.
  4. Optionally add a description.
  5. Click Save changes.

Add (and remove) course-level outcomes

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course.
  2. In the Settings block, go to Course administration > Outcomes > Outcomes used in course.
  3. Select the Outcomes you would like to add, holding down Ctrl/Cmd to select multiple outcomes at a time and click Add.
  4. To remove Outcomes click to select them from the 'Outcomes used in course' (in the left hand column) and click Remove.
  5. Once you have finished adding and removing outcomes click the 'Save changes' button

Add activity level outcomes

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course and turn editing on.
  2. Navigate to the activity to which you would like to add outcomes.
  3. Alongside the activity, click Edit > Edit settings.
  4. Open the Outcomes section by clicking the expand arrow. If you don't see an Outcomes section on the settings page, you first need to add some outcomes to your course - see instructions above.
  5. Select the checkbox alongside any outcomes relevant to that activity.
  6. Click Save and return to course.

Export outcomes

    1. Navigate to your Moodle course and go to Course administration  > Outcomes > Edit outcomes.
    2. At the bottom of the page click Export all outcomes.
    3. You can then share this file with colleagues who can import these outcomes to their course.

Further help

Further guidance on Outcomes is available from moodledocs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


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