An outcome item IS NOT an outcome.
An outcome item is in most respects the same thing as a grade item.
The main difference between the two is that the purpose of a outcome item is to rate students on a particular outcome/competency/goal, whereas grade items are used for grading students, usually with the intention of aggregating the results as a measure of the student's performance in the course activities.
An outcome item is always linked with an outcome, which itself is linked to a scale. The scale may represent a quantitative measure, its values being arranged from lowest to highest; or it may represent a qualitative measure, in which the order of the scale values is irrelevant. The first type can be aggregated, but the second type shouldn't (we wouldn't want to fail a student because her favourite colour is "blue"!).
An outcome item may optionally be linked to an activity. This activity may or may not appear in the gradebook (for example, a wiki is usually not graded, so does not appear). Linking an outcome item with an activity creates a grade item with the icon of the linked activity, but there is no other way to see which activity it is linked with. For this reason, it is a good idea to include the activity name in the name of the outcome item (e.g. Wiki 1: Participation).
Usually named after the linked outcome. If linked to an activity, it is a good idea to include that activity's name in the item name (see explanation above)
The site or course outcome this item represents in the gradebook.
An optional course activity with which this outcome item can be linked. See notes above regarding the naming of activity-linked outcome items.
See Grade_hiding for info.
See Grade_locking for info.
A space for entering information about the item. Text entered does not appear anywhere else.
Setting an ID number provides a way of identifying the outcome item for grade calculation purposes. If the outcome item is not included in any grade calculation, or if a calculation is not applicable (i.e. qualitative scales), then the ID number field can be left blank.