Outcomes-Based Teaching & Learning

Outcome-based teaching and learning (OBTL) is an approach to curriculum design that encourages us to explicitly map out what our students should know and be able to do at the end of a course or program of study, how they will demonstrate that learning, and which teaching and learning activities and materials will best support them to achieve those goals.

Identifying intended learning outcomes first simplifies program and course design and ensures instructional strategies stay focused on what the learners need to know and be able to do at the end of the learning experience.

OBTL & Backward Design

Our OBTL Part 1 video provides a definition of outcomes-based teaching and learning, describes the benefits of this approach to curriculum design, and lists steps to designing a course using OBTL.

For an explanation on how to align assessments and teaching activities to course learning outcomes along with a number of examples from different disciplines, watch OBTL Part 2.

TCDC Resources

Our overview of outcomes-based teaching and learning handout illustrates how this approach differs from content-based planning and how to align outcomes, assessments and teaching and learning activities.

This webpage offers answers to commonly asked questions about using an outcomes-based approach to curriculum design. Here is a downloadable PDF of the same questions and answers.

Other Resources

The College Educator Development Program (CEDP), a collaborative initiative of 6 Ontario colleges, has created a number of interactive educational modules for faculty. The Outcomes-based Education module offers an overview of OBE, including how to write effective learning outcomes and align outcomes and assessment. Copy and paste the URL in your browser if the direct link does not work: https://www.softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/GfacAMp6soEgVr/html