The Shift of Educational Focus from Content to Learning Outcomes

Reduced to the barest components, the educative process happens between the teacher and the student. Education originated from the terms “educare” or “educere” which meant “to draw out.” Ironically, however, for centuries we succeeded in perpetuating the belief that education is a “pouring in” process wherein the teacher was the infallible giver of knowledge and the student was the passive recipient. It followed that the focus of instruction was content and subject matter. We were used to regarding education basically in terms of designating a set of subjects to take and when the course is completed we pronounce the students “educated” assuming that the instruction and activities we provided will lead to the desired knowledge, skills and other attributes that we think the course passers would possess. 

The advent of technology caused a change of perspective in education, nationally and internationally. The teacher ceased to be the sole source of knowledge. With knowledge explosion, students are surrounded with various sources of facts and information accessible through user- friendly technology. The teacher has become a facilitator of knowledge who assists in the organization, interpretation and validation of acquired facts and information.

Outcomes-Based Education: Matching Intentions with Accomplishment

The change in educational perspective is called Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) which has three (3) characteristics:

  1. It is student-centered; that is, it places the students at the center of the process by focusing on Student Learning Outcomes (SLO).
  2. It is faculty-driven; that is, it encourages faculty responsibility for teaching, assessing program outcomes and motivating participation from the students.
  3. It is meaningful; that is, it provides data to guide the teacher in making valid and continuing improvement in instruction and assessment activities.

To implement outcomes-based education on the subject or course level, the following procedure is recommended:

  1. Identification of the educational objectives of the subject/ course. Educational objectives are the broad goals that the subject/course expects to achieve, and defining in general terms the knowledge, skills and attitude that the teacher will help the students to attain. The objectives are stated from the point of view of the teacher such as: “to develop, to provide, to enhance, to inculcate, etc.”
  2. Listing of learning outcomes specified for each subject/ course objective. Since subject/course objectives are broadly stated, they do not provide detailed guide to be teachable and measureable. Learning outcomes are stated as concrete active verbs such as: to demonstrate, to explain, to differentiate, to illustrate, etc. A good source of learning outcomes statements is the taxonomy of educational objectives by Benjamin Bloom. Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives is grouped into three (3):
    • Cognitive, also called knowledge, refers to mental skills such as remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing/creating.
    • Psychomotor, also referred to as skills, includes manual or physical skills, which proceed from mental activities and range from the simplest to the complex such as observing, imitating, practicing, adapting and innovating.
    • Affective, also known as attitude, refers to growth in feelings or emotions from the simplest behavior to the most complex such as receiving, responding, valuing, organizing, and internalizing.
  3. Drafting outcomes assessment procedure. This procedure will enable the teacher to determine the degree to which the students are attaining the desired learning outcomes. It identifies for every outcome the data that will be gathered which will guide the selection of the assessment tools to be used and at what point assessment will be done. 

The Outcomes of Education

Outcomes-based education focuses classroom instruction on the skills and competencies that students must demonstrate when they exit. There are two (2) types of outcomes: immediate and deferred outcomes.

Immediate outcomes are competencies/skills acquired upon completion of a subject, a grade level, a segment of the program, or of the program itself.


    • Ability to communicate in writing and speaking
    • Mathematical problem-solving skill
    • Skill in identifying objects by using the different senses
    • Ability to produce artistic or literary works
    • Ability to do research and write the results
    • Ability to present an investigative science project
    • Skill in story-telling
    • Promotion to a higher grade level
    • Graduation from a program
    • Passing a required licensure examination
    • Initial job placement

Deferred outcomes refer to the ability to apply cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills/competencies in various situations many years after completion of a subject; grade level or degree program.


    • Success in professional practice or occupation
    • Promotion in a job
    • Success in career planning, health and wellness
    • Awards and recognition

Sample Educational Objectives and Learning Outcomes in Araling Panlipunan (K to 12)

Educational Objectives Learning Outcomes
  • Pagbibigay sa mga mag-aaral ng kaalaman at pang-unawa tungkol sa tao, kapaligiran at lipunan (Cognitive objective).
  • Nailalarawan ang sariling buhay simula sa pagsilang hanggang sa kasalukuyang edad.
  • Nasasabi at naipapaliwanag ang mga alituntunin sa silid-aralan at sa paaralan.
  • Naiisa-isa ang mga tungkulin ng isang mabuting mamamayan sa pangangalaga ng kapaligiran.
  • Paglinang ng kakayahan na magsagawa ng proyektong pangtahanan at pampamayanan (Psychomotor objective).
  • Nakakasulat ng sanaysay na naglalarawan ng mga taong bumubuo ng sariling pamilya.
  • Nakapagsasagawa ng panayam ng ilang mahahalagang pinuno ng sariling baranggay at naisusulat ang mga nakalap na kaalaman.
  • Pagganyak sa mga mag-aaral upang maipamalas ang malalim na pagpapahalaga sa kapaligiran (Affective objective).
  • Nakasusulat ng tula, awit o maikling kuwento tungkol sa kahalagahan ng kapaligiran.
  • Nakagagawa ng “video presentation” tungkol sa wastong pag-aalaga ng kapaligiran.