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Outcomes Specification

From MoodleDocs
(Redirected from Outcomes stage2)
Outcomes improvements
Project state Developed, waiting for integration into core
Tracker issue MDL-40230
Assignee Phill Miller


The Moodle outcomes system as it exists today does not accomplish what customers demand and require, due to some key missing functions, including the ability to easily import hierarchical standards and the ability to map and track outcomes on quiz questions and rubric rows. This limits Moodle adoption in K12, corporate, for-profit, and, to a lesser extent, higher education, specifically community colleges.

The goal of this project would be to make outcomes work according to the use cases we understand to be critical to Moodle users, as well as available in competitive products. We would allow administrators and/or instructors to create or import outcomes, including state standards, institutional objectives, or professional standards. We would allow instructors and instructional designers to map learning objects, including all content items, rubric items, and even quiz questions, against these standards. We would then build reports that would show performance against standards, as well as coverage within courses.

Logical Overview

In order to make sure that everyone understands how this works and what the various terminology means, this page is a series of logical diagrams that helps make sense of the basic terminology and sets up the other use cases. Plenty of diagrams to make it consumable both from a functional perspective and a technical perspective.

Outcomes Logical Overview

Specification and Use Cases

The functional specification will be split into three sections by user type:

Each of these users will have permissions set by: Capabilities and Roles

In each of these specifications, there are really two important components, which may help us separate the project into phases:

  • Creation, Mapping, and Tracking Student Performance against outcomes
  • Reporting of Coverage and Performance Against Standards

Additionally, there are migration and other technical issues which need to be addressed.

Finally, we are specifically excluding certain use cases, at this time, in order to ensure that we can deliver. We should be thoughtful in the design, both functional and technical, so as not to eliminate the possibility of including these use cases in the future, but we cannot achieve them in a reasonable time today.

Technical Documentation:

High Level Requirements

  • Import/export standards, either flat or multi-level. Ensure that we can easily handle the most common standard types, such as Academic Benchmarks, ASN, and other key XML Standard formats.
  • Select which standards apply to a course
  • Remove or refactor dependence on Scales, so that outcomes can be managed independently and used in automatically graded quizzes and rubrics simultaneously
  • Map standards to activities (all), rubric rows, and/or quiz question items
  • Run reports showing coverage, exposure and performance at Institution and Course Level
  • Allow courses with outcomes to backup and restore with a course
  • Improve and simplify user experience to make it simpler to map outcomes to the various objects
  • Store user performance results with the user profile so that they are not removed when a course is deleted
  • Migrate existing outcomes into the new system
  • Support Common Cartridge Outcome field


All of the Moodle markets will use this functionality, although they may use it in slightly different ways:

  • K-12 – In many countries schools are being required to produce data on performance against outcomes, specifically “State Standards” or the “Common Core” standards for English, Math and other subjects.
  • Corporate – Corporations are often training their users to specific competencies that the user needs. Also, they are often providing certifications against specific standards, such as the Cisco networking, MCSE, etc.
  • For Profit Higher Education – For Profit Higher Education is well ahead of the other markets in measuring outcomes and tracking these for retention, as their profitability requires it. They are also some of the leaders in providing professional certification, such as nursing (NCLEX) and Pharmacy Tech, which has specific standards.
  • Higher Education – While traditional higher education institutions have been slower to adopt accountability standards, the community college and technical colleges have been tracking outcomes much more closely. Additionally, the community college and technical college markets are large providers of professional certifications, which can be tracked. They are also being asked to provide more evidence of student success.


All popular systems have or are building standards reporting. ANGEL is most advanced today, with Blackboard not too far behind. Canvas will be releasing shortly.

Project Goals

  • Make Outcomes work for customer use cases, including support for hierarchical State/Skill Standards and Performance Reporting
  • Participate actively in the Moodle community by building this in conjunction with core and getting into upcoming Moodle core release
  • Open up the K12 market and supplement our story in corporate and higher education market

Specification Change Log

Outcomes Specification Change Log

See also