Not all outcomes are desirable ones (3 of 4)

December 6, 2012

Frank Furedi is correct. Learning outcomes should be got rid of. For a start, the name is ambiguous: is "learning" a verb or an adjective? Should students merely learn the outcomes? Any course or module to which one is attached is thereby announcing that it is not pursuing education but training. A corollary of this is that the hosting institution is not a university but a further education college. I would allow an exception if the teacher produced it only under duress and did his best to ignore it when teaching.

When I was an undergraduate, learning outcomes had not been invented. Even module descriptions were wonderfully vague: third-year quantum mechanics might include "topics in superconductivity". This left the teacher free to change things according to topicality or his own interests. Much better.

Dave Kimber, St Neots

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