Outcome-based Learning


In outcome-based learning, all school programs and instructional efforts are designed to have produced specific, lasting results in students by the time they leave school.

Basic Elements

One of the leading examples of an outcome-based learning program is the Outcome-Driven Developmental Model (ODDM) of the school system in Johnson City, New York. The principles followed by outcome-based learning practitioners include:

  1. Clarity of focus around significant, culminating exit outcomes, which are defined by each school
  2. Expansion of available time and resources so that all students successfully reach the exit outcomes
  3. Consistent, high expectations of 100% success
  4. Explicit relationships between any learning experience and the ultimate outcomes to which that experience is essential

Under OBE, curriculum design includes these steps:

Discern future conditions

Derive exit outcomes

Develop performance indicators

Design learning experiences

Determine instructional strategies

Deliver instruction

Document results

Determine advancement


Successful Schooling for All: A Primer on Outcome-Based Education and Mastery Learning, Gray, I. Lee (Ed.). Network for Outcome-Based Schools, Johnson City Central Schools, 666 Reynolds Road, Johnson City, NY 13790. (1-9 copies $10.95 each)

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On Purpose Associates

One Response to Outcome-based Learning

  1. Kenny Dunn says:

    I think some of this is good, although I would not develop a curriculum based solely on this–because predicting the future is virtually impossible: for example, for some students a focus on “shop” and hands on learning will be the rest of their lives at work; while others need a curriculum to exclusively prepare them for college. Andyet, throughout life, times and circumstances change. During this, the information age, for example, most manufacturing jobs are gone, and the curriculum needs to support an intellectual “lifetime of learning,” that, amazingly, did not really exist 30 years ago: gone are the days when a student could get a high school diploma, and retire at 60 with two different pensions. Today, I beleive students can expect to, instead of going to and from work–going to work, and to and from college all of their lives.