The Outcomes System: 3 Ways to Assess Learning

The Outcome System was created by Open LMS to meet the needs of instructors in assessing their students on competency-based learning. Through this system instructors are able to map competencies to course content, resources, activities, quiz questions, and rubric rows. Once your course has been aligned to outcomes, it’s time to decide how these outcomes will be assessed.

Assessing Using Completion Marking

The Outcome System has a built-in report called Completion Marking which displays a list of the outcomes aligned to the course for each student individually. The report is broken into six columns. The first two columns are the ID number associated to the outcome and the name of the outcome. The next three columns display the percentage of completion, average grade, and scale items associated to each outcome. By clicking on the number shown under the columns “Completion” and “Average Grade,” the instructor can view which activities were completed and the exact grade received for the completed activities. If the instructor believes the student has learned the competency, they would mark the checkbox under the “Complete” column and then save changes.

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Assessing At the Activity Level

By aligning outcomes to a Rubric Row within an activity, instructors are able to give a grade (point value) to each outcome. Through the use of evaluating outcomes within rubrics, instructors are able to give individual assessment per outcome that is visible to the student when viewing the activity. Both feedback and a point value can be part of the assessment based on the setting options selected when creating the activity and rubric.

To do this, create the course “Assignments and Advanced Forums” and select “Rubrics” as the grading option. Create the rubric, defining the criteria as an individual outcome, then add the guideline descriptions accordingly. Once the student has completed their submission for the activity, grade using the rubric by selecting the appropriate level of competency for each outcome and level feedback.

Assessing At the Course Level

There isn’t yet a feature in Joule that allows instructors to manually rate the level of competency for each outcome at the course level. In order to complete such a task, instructors will have to create an “Assignment” activity with the sole purpose of evaluating course outcomes. This would be done by adding the course outcomes to the individual Rubric Rows. The activity would not be graded unless you wanted the points to be added to the course grade, nor would it require an online or file submission. First, add an “Assignment” activity to the course. Next, set the assignment settings to “no online or file submission”. Then select the assignment to not be graded but to use Rubric as the Grading Method. Create the rubric using the outcomes that will be assessed in the course and determine the rubric settings. Even though the activity is set to “not graded,” it will still appear in the gradebook so that overall feedback will display. Therefore if you do not want it to appear in the gradebook, go to the “Categories and Items” tab in the “Grades” area and hide the activity by closing the eye.

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Janelle Gieseke

Janelle Gieseke is a former instructional designer for Anthology Inc., an Open LMS partner.

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