TLRP’s overarching aim was to enhance learning of many sorts, including knowledge, skills, understanding, attitudes, dispositions, identities, behaviours and practices. TLRP’s pedagogic principle 1 is a reminder that teaching and learning aims to equip learners with the resources to participate in society as active citizens, to contribute to economic development and to flourish as individuals. Therefore a broad range of outcomes is appropriate. Each of TLRP’s projects has worked in different ways on defining, developing and investigating learning outcomes.
Early in the Programme a Learning Outcomes Thematic Group was convened to investigate the range of outcomes being tackled and the issues arising. In 2005 this group published a special issue of The Curriculum Journal, 16(1) based on its work. This included an analysis of the first thirty projects to be funded, four commentaries on the issues from the perspective of schools, workplace learning, higher education and further education, three responses from representatives of ‘user’ groups, and an article on associated issues concerning ‘warrants’ for conclusions of research on learning outcomes.
Some of the themes raised by this group, especially those concerning valid assessment of a broader range of learning outcomes, including indicators of ‘soft’ skills, have been taken up by a further thematic seminar series on the Assessment of Significant Learning Outcomes.
The challenges of looking beyond conventional measures of attainment have been a focus of the schools’ project carried out on learning how to learn by James and colleagues. However, it is in the post-compulsory sectors that the issues are especially evident and insights are provided by Vignoles and colleagues in relation to widening participation in HE, Wolf and colleagues in relation to mature learners and workplace learning, and by Coffield and colleagues in relation to the learning and skills sector.
Publications related to this general theme are listed below: