What's It All About? The Power of Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes are sometimes also called learning objectives and are used at the beginning of lessons to give students an overview of their lesson and what they should know by the end – the outcome or objective.
While that might seem high level stuff it is used all the way down to primary school level. At the start of the lesson the teacher will usually write the learning outcome on the board: “We are learning to…” and discuss it with the class. The children know what is expected of them in the lesson and what they are aiming towards.
Having a learning outcome helps to keep the session on track. Being clear about the expected outcome helps children take some responsibility for their learning and to see it as part of a bigger picture. While talking about learning objectives teachers will also refer back to previous lessons and how this one builds on them.
The learning outcome is a bit like an introduction and in the same way there is usually a conclusion to the lesson. This recap summarises what has been learnt, referring back to the learning objectives from the start. The pupils can see how everything they have learned fits together and it reinforces the lesson one more time. It’s also easy to check for understanding when you can refer back to the learning outcomes.
Examples of learning objectives will obviously depend on what is being studied but it’s not so much ticking things off in a to-do list way, it’s about what has been learned and taken away from the lesson. More “We are learning to find countries on a map” than “Find five countries on a map.”
Learning outcomes can be used at home for homework or revision sessions too. Most children will be used to the idea and do it at school already. Oaka Books resource packs have fun and engaging lessons focussing on clear outcomes in different curriculum areas and are perfect to create learning objectives with. Giving each session an objective also helps children understand if they are on track and it is not a bad ‘life lesson’ either. Being able to set yourself targets each day makes for a much more productive person in the end!