This handbook offers concrete examples of the use of learning outcomes and provides an overview of existing guidance and research material supporting the definition and writing of learning outcomes. The revised handbook also aims to promote dialogue between education and training and labour market stakeholders, by building on material from different parts of the education and training system and bridging the gap between institutions and sectors.
This updated and extended version of Cedefop’s 2017 European Handbook on defining, writing and applying learning outcomes addresses four main aims.
First, and based on an elaboration of how different users apply learning outcomes for a wide range of purposes, it demonstrates that careful contextualisation and adaptation is a precondition for successful application of the approach. This contextualisation, however, must be combined with attention to alignment, ensuring that applications in different contexts developed for different purposes speak to and strengthen each other.
Second, the handbook reflects on key conceptual and terminological issues influencing the use of learning outcomes. This not only helps to clarify
the conditions under which the full potential of the approach can be realised but also points to its inherent limitations.
Third, the lessons from the two first parts are summarised in a set of ‘rules of thumb’, offering practical advice to practitioners responsible for defining,
writing and applying learning outcomes. Fourth, the handbook provides an overview of, and a direct link to, existing guidance and research material in this area. This online resource makes it
possible for readers to explore issues of relevance in more depth.
A key message of the handbook is that there is no single ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to define, write or apply learning outcomes. Instead, there’s a need to share
experiences on what is and is not working. It is our hope that the handbook, notably through an improved link to available guidance and research material,
can serve as a focal point for future exchanges and dialogue.
A EUROPEAN HANDBOOK – SECOND EDITION