Towards outcomes-based assessment:an unfinished story of triangulation and transformation

Coats, Maggie and Stevenson, Anne (2006). Towards outcomes-based assessment:an unfinished story of triangulation and transformation. In: Association for the Study of Evaluation and Assessment in Education in Southern Africa (ASEASA) Conference on Evaluating Assessment: Reflecting on Outcome-Based Education and Assessment, Jul 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Over the past ten years Higher Education in the United Kingdom (UK) has changed in many ways, mainly influenced by the recommendations of the Dearing Report (published in 1997). One paragraph in the report instigated a fundamental reorientation in the articulation within higher education of teaching, learning and assessment in terms of learning outcomes. Subsequent quality assurance initiatives have reinforced this approach.

For the last ten years, the Centre for Outcomes-Based Education (COBE) in the UK Open University (UK OU) has been leading the transformation of the OU curriculum into an outcomes-based approach. The key to this process has been the 'triangulation' between curriculum, staff and student development.

Throughout the process, our main concern has been to describe, develop and implement an appropriate way to assess learning outcomes both at course and award level. This paper re-views the process and poses some fundamental questions about an outcomes-based approach to the design and delivery of the curriculum and to the development of staff and students.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions