Focusing on ‘learning outcomes’ can help transform school education

Transforming education is one of the fastest ways to develop a country. Numerous countries around the world, especially Southeast Asian countries have grown tremendously in the past few decades due to excessive focus on making good quality education accessible to the masses. And, school education is where it should all start.

By now, most of us know that school education is not just about attending classes and learning passively. Though a lot of edtech companies are coming up with innovative technology solutions catering to individual educational needs, very few are focussing on improving the core of education: the schools.

One of the best ways of transforming education is by changing the focus from ‘syllabus completion’ to ‘driving learning outcomes’ in schools.

What are learning outcomes?
Learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities a student will possess upon the successful completion of a topic, lesson, or any kind of learning experience.

Examples of learning outcomes:
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Do basic math operations like addition and subtraction of 2 digit numbers
  2. Identify and locate different states on the physical map of India
  3. Perform an experiment to determine the acidic or basic nature of a substance

Let’s understand how we can transform education by focusing on learning outcomes:

1. Help set the right expectations
In conventional learning, a lot of focus is put on the completion of the syllabus. In this setting, children get a download of information, but they are not very clear about how that information is going to help them. A lot of times, what they learn is not very relevant to how they are evaluated. For example, in physics, children might be taught the 3 laws of motion. But in exams, instead of being asked to write the definitions, students might be asked to solve some numerical problems based on those laws. If students don’t have the required knowledge to solve such practical problems, they might start finding such topics difficult.

A focus on learning outcomes will set the right expectations, both at the student end and the teacher end. Children will find seemingly difficult subjects like Physics and Mathematics easier.

2. More objective assessments
Central to the establishment of learning outcomes is determining how those outcomes are measured. A focus on learning outcomes thus leads to a ‘work backwards’ approach which starts with what needs to be achieved and accordingly determines what and how it needs to be taught. This helps in building more objective assessments rather than exams that do not lead to any tangible results. Students will thus retain knowledge and not forget it just after the exams are over.

Teachers also find it easy to create assessments as it helps them identify the critical areas of a curriculum that need to be tested and put less emphasis on non-critical components.

The assessments at LEAD are designed strategically to enhance quality learning. Assessments at LEAD Powered Schools help students cover their learning gaps before progressing to the next unit. Every unit has a unit-end assessment. These might be written, oral, or both.

3. Removing the fear of exams
Most students dread exams because they feel they don’t know enough. When they are taught using the ‘learning outcomes’ approach, at every step of their learning progress the teachers can ensure whether they have really understood a concept or not. This will help in building confidence in students that they know enough to be able to answer questions in exams. This confidence in students is fundamental for them to have the courage to try and solve application-based problems and gradually build on the basics.

Transforming education in India is possible only when every child is a part of it. Technology is necessary but not sufficient to drive the change. To achieve the best results, it is important to empower all stakeholders like teachers, parents, and school owners.

At LEAD Powered Schools, we ensure students get the best learning outcomes through:

LEAD is on a mission to transform the educational landscape in India by making excellent learning facilities accessible to 15 million children in India by 2025. Want to know how LEAD can transform the learning experience of your child? Enquire Now

About the author

Prajakta is an Assistant Manager in the Content Marketing team at LEAD. She is an IIT Kanpur alumnus and comes with extensive experience in the ed-tech industry. She believes education is the premise of progress, for an individual, for a family, and for society.

Prajakta Sakpal

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