Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 18 June, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


Novel Recipes



Outcomes-based approach

core definition

An outcomes-based approach to learning and teaching specifies in advance what the student should be able to do at the culmination of a programme of study.

explanatory context


analytical review

According to EmeraldManagementXtra (2005)

The outcomes-based approach to course design is intended to make the expectations of the designer/educator more transparent to both the student and any regulatory or accrediting body. Unlike the traditional model of course design in higher education, where the lecturer would decide what to include on a syllabus, based on his or her own judgement of what was important for students to know; or on personal research or other interests; the outcomes-based approach starts with a specification of what the student will be expected to achieve by the end of the unit.

The Scottish Government (2008) writes:

An outcomes-based approach encourages us all to focus on the difference that we make and not just the inputs or processes over which we have control. Success for the Government and its Public Bodies is about impact and it is right that we should be judged by tangible improvements in the things that matter to the people of Scotland.

associated issues

Long (undated)  notes:

Outcomes-based education supports the learning of diverse range of students. Its purpose is to make the learning process "public and transparent" for everyone. As a method of instruction, its inclusive approach is a pedagogical tool of universal design for instruction.


There are reservations about the outcomes-based approach, not least it tends to centrally determined curricula, it may ‘dumb-down’ and it leads to curricula that are hard to implement.

related areas

See also



EmeraldManagementXtra, 2005, ‘Developing Outcomes-based Learning Programmes’, , accessed Sept 2005, no longer available 16 January 2012.

Long, B., (undated), ‘Using learning outcomes in design education’, no longer available 16 January 2012.

Scottish Government (Riaghaltas na h-Alba), 2008, Outcomes-Based Approach, Crown copyright, available at, updated 30 October 2008, accessed 5 September 2012, still available 27 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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