Five things you need to know to start using the New Outcomes in Joule

Teachers from all over the world use numerous types of learning outcomes to develop content and measure the knowledge and skills of their students. Outcomes are specific descriptions of achievements that students will need to demonstrate and understand and are also known by names like goals competencies skills or standards.

Identifying related content and measuring outcome achievement are one of the most time consuming tasks that teachers have to do on a regular basis. In addition to creating learning activities that explore the subjects covered in the outcomes teachers are also responsible for assessing the performance of their students against those objectives.

These challenges exist for teachers who use Moodle™ as their Learning Management System as well. Moodle™ has an outcome functionally that is helpful but does not fulfill the current needs of teachers due to some key missing functions including the ability to import hierarchical standards and the ability to map and track outcomes on quiz questions and rubric rows.

Open LMS has been collaborating with Moodle™ developers to create a new functionality that will work for most outcome use cases including support for hierarchical outcomes and performance reporting. This new system is already included in all Joule 2 sites and it will soon be incorporated to core Moodle™. In today’s blog I will explain a few things you need to know to start using the New Outcomes system available in Joule.

  1. Enable New Outcomes: In order to use the new system site administrators have to enable the New Outcomes solely or select to use it together with the prior Moodle™ system (Legacy Outcomes) by going to Settings > Site administration > Advanced features > Outcomes.
  2. Outcome Sets: The Legacy Outcomes system allows teachers and administrators to create individual outcomes but they cannot import or create Outcome Sets. An Outcome Set is a grouping of outcomes and it can have multiple levels of logical groupings. In the new system administrators can go to Settings > Site administration > Grades > Outcomes to create or import Outcome Sets in flat or multi-level layers. This feature is an incredible advancement because it allows the upload of numerous outcomes all at once particularly when importing Outcome Sets from common standard types such as Academic Benchmarks or Achievement Standards Network (ASN).
  3. Add Outcome Sets to courses: Loading Outcome Sets into the system is not enough in order to use the new system appropriately teachers need to align their courses to an outcome set or sets by going to Settings > Course administration > Edit settings. When an Outcome Set is associated to a course then its outcomes can be mapped to content and display in the reports.
  4. Map content items: The secret to using the new system effectively is to map outcomes against resources activities quiz questions and rubric rows. Content mapping is a key procedure because this is how outcome performance is measured. When creating or editing the settings of any type of content in Joule teachers will see a new area called Outcomes where they can map outcomes included in the Outcome Sets.
  5. Review reports: Teachers can access the Outcomes reports by going to Settings > Course administration > Outcomes. The reports available in the system allow instructors to see how students are performing against outcomes that have been mapped to the course content. In addition teachers can use the reports to review the coverage for each outcome and check if there are any unmapped activities and resources in a particular course.

In this post I provided you with a brief overview of how to start using the New Outcomes. Consider taking the Outcomes Management with Joule webinar to learn more details on how to take full advantage of this incredible new system.


~Marcelo Mendes



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