Qualifications Framework and Learning Outcomes

Centralised Support to the Network of Higher Education Reform Experts (HERE)

Technical Assistance Missions (TAM)


Name of Expert

Volker Gehmlich

Date of Visit

16 September 2015


Qualifications Framework and Learning Outcomes

Objectives of the visit

Transfer of best practices in developing NQF

Format of the activity (seminar, training, etc.)

Part I: Interactive discussion Part II: Working in groups; Part III: Interactive discussion (lessons learned) Part IV: Group/Individual issues

Brief description of activities conducted

Part I/Plenary: Context (The Emerging EHEA; Qualifications Frameworks (QF) as Backbones, examples; How QF can be developed: Germany; Designing Learning Outcomes (Programme / Educational Components)

Part II/Working in Groups: Dry Run: What do we expect a medical doctor would know and be able to do?

Step 1: Programme Learning Outcomes; Working in Groups: Three groups working each on one of the following questions:

•       What do you expect a teacher at an institution of higher education knows and is able to do?

•       What do you expect a senior administrator at an institution of higher education knows and is able to do?

•       What do you expect a quality assurance manager at an institution of higher education knows and is able to do?

Each group receives a „real example“ of a person / a job and had to translate the information into knowledge/skills/competence; reflection: relationship to job descriptions; Example of Good Practice: Postgraduate Computer Science Degree; Identification of key elements of learning outcomes; compared with an example of an undergraduate engineering degree; Lessons Learned; 

Step 2: Learning Outcomes of Educational Components; Plenary: Definition of Module, Module Template; How to write Learning Outcomes for Educational Components in comparison to those for Programmes (Example: Moon, 2004); Mapping of LO; Relationship between LO and forms of assessment; potential conflicts; latest developmens as regards relative grading.

Part III/Plenary: Discussion of the proposals submitted by the groups (flip chart); Examples of Good Practice using Bloom´s Taxonomy, across several disciplines; Example of a Business Studies´Programme, Module: Electronic Commerce; 8 Learning Outcomes using Bloom´s Taxonomy; Background: Overview of Bloom´s Taxonomy, including the Affective and the Psychomotor Domaines, focusing on the levels and usable vocabulary. Deepened by examples of a sectoral qualifications framework in business and by the example of an institutional/organisational qualifications framework of the Osnabrueck University of Applied Sciences.

Part IV/Optional for groups or individuals: Sharing information. As the workshop finished at the time planed (4p.m.) more or less the participants left because of their travel arrangements and the long day. Three participants had a short talk to find out how they could go on.

Participants targeted 

HERE; members of higher education institutions, in particular those being involved in writing learning outcomes (assistant professors, other academic staff, administrative staff). About 50 had registered beforehand; about 5 did not turn up. The group work started after the lunch-bread with about 25 participants who stayed up to the very end.

The Vice-Rector of the University of Sarajevo, Prof. Dr. Faruk Mekic, participated the whole day and pointed out that a reason for leaving was that the participants were asked to take an active role in the group work.

The Head of the National Erasmus+ office stayed for most of the sessions as well.

Main ‘take-aways’ from the perspective of the expert

All the slides developed for the preparation of the workshop. Some of the slides were not used in the workshop but intended to be background information or for the purpose of reflection after the meeting.