Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland
Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

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Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

3.1 What are outcomes?

So, what is an outcome? You could define it as 'the impact of activity or support and services' (Cook and Miller, 2012a), but this focuses more on what services are doing than what is happening for the person. Keeping in mind our discussion in Section 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] about putting ‘the citizen at the centre’, a definition more in keeping with the principles of personalisation is that:

Personal outcomes should primarily be understood as what matters to the person . So the starting point is to work with the individual to define what is important to them, and to plan activities and support from there. At a later stage it is possible to review whether outcomes have been achieved, to measure progress, and to amend the plan.

(Cook and Miller, 2012a, p. 8) [our emphasis]

Jargon busting

It is important to distinguish between 'outcomes' and other words that we use to explain what happens when we make a change. The diagram below explains the difference between inputs , outputs and outcomes .

Figure 3.2 The relationship between inputs, outputs and outcomes

Activity 3.1: Inputs, outputs and outcomes on KG097

Timing: (Allow about 10 minutes)

This exercise asks you to think about your own inputs, outputs and outcomes as you work through KG097.

What are the:

  • inputs
  • outputs
  • outcomes

for you as you are studying this course?

Use your learning log to make brief notes to answer this question.


Everybody will have different answers to this question. For example, one learner responded:

Figure 3.3

You will have noticed that each section of this course has a number of 'learning outcomes' – the changes in your awareness or understanding about personalisation and self-directed support that The Open University aims to enable learners to achieve. These are likely to overlap with your personal study outcomes. As a self-directed learner, however, the most important outcomes are the ones that matter to you, and will motivate and maybe even inspire you to learn and put your learning into practice.


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