Learning Outcomes impacts many tools in Brightspace. Before you start setting up your course to use standards and learning outcomes, review the introductory and setup content to understand the core concepts of Learning Outcomes and Competencies.
Important: Your Brightspace instance must have several configuration variables enabled and you must have several role permissions granted to successfully access and use Learning Outcomes. Contact your administrator for details.
What's the difference between Competencies and Learning Outcomes
Note: For a feature-by-feature comparison of the Competencies and Learning Outcomes tools, see Comparing Competencies and Learning Outcomes.
Brightspace allows you to use two separate tools that provide similar features:
Competencies is a legacy tool that helps track information about the knowledge, skills, and abilities students acquire as they participate in classes or other learning experiences. Competencies can be used with the classic Content tool and ePortfolio.
Figure: The Competencies tool.
Use Competencies if the following list describes your Brightspace implementation:
- You have clearly defined learning outcome statements at the course and the program level (across multiple courses)
- You need aggregated data and reporting on the learning achievement of those learning outcomes
Clients cannot use both Competencies and the Learning Outcomes in the same course. It is possible to continue using Competencies in some courses and use Learning Outcomes in others. If you are using one, all instances of the other are now hidden from view. For a new, empty shell course, both the Competency tool and Learning Outcomes tool appear in the Course Administration page. However, as soon as you decide to use the Learning Outcomes tool or the Competency tool, then the link to the other tool is hidden.
The Competency tool is considered to be in use when at least one learning objective is aligned to activities in the course. When this is the case, the Learning Outcomes tool is hidden on the Course Administration page.
Learning Outcomes provides learning outcome alignment with achievement tracking. At the organization level, this tool allows you to define scales for measuring achievement. At the program level, you can import or create outcomes that can be shared down to courses. At the course level, you can import or create new outcomes, align outcomes to course content in the New Content Experience, and integrate with Brightspace Portfolio, Quizzes, Discussions, Assignments, and Rubrics.
Note: The name of the Learning Outcomes tool and some menu items and links therein depend on the language term defined in the d2l.Languages.Terminology.LearningOutcomes configuration variable. Language term options include Standards, Expectations, Competencies, Objectives, or Outcomes. In this topic, assume the configuration variable is set to Standards. Also, you require specific role permissions to add or import standards from either the Standards tool or New Content Experience. Contact your administrator for details.
Figure: The Learning Outcomes tool with the configuration variable language term set to Standards.
Use Learning Outcomes if the following list describes your Brightspace implementation:
- You have clearly defined learning outcome statements which align to purposes of curriculum mapping and assessment to discreet content topics or assessment activities.
- You are using learning outcomes which are available from the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) or you can enter your outcomes into the Learning Outcomes tool.
- You are interested in providing visibility to learners of their performance related to assessment activities aligned to learning outcomes.
The Learning Outcomes tool is considered to be in use when an intent list is created by importing or creating at least one learning outcome in the course. When this is the case, the Competencies tool is hidden on the Course Administration page, and the Objectives Progress column in Class Progress is no longer visible.
Understand the Learning Outcomes workflow
Learning Outcomes supports outcomes-based education methodology in your courses. The Learning Outcomes tool provides this ability by using the settings and options you can configure in other Brightspace tools, such as Rubrics, Assignments, and User Progress, to create an overarching solution. At a high level, the solution uses the following workflow:
- Define an achievement scale.
- Create a Program and program-level outcomes, if needed.
- Populate a course with outcomes imported from a program, from ASN, or manually created.
- Align outcomes to course activities and content.
- Assess student work against outcomes.
- Track learner progress against outcomes as the course progresses.