3: Learning outcome descriptors - Fleksibel utdanning Norge

The analysis of the target group and academic content is closely linked to the learning outcome descriptors defined for the programme or course. For primary, secondary, tertiary vocational education and higher education, learning outcomes in the Norwegian context are described in the Norwegian Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (NQF). (8) The NQF is central to the planning and implementation of formal education from primary school to higher education. Drawing up learning outcome descriptors is useful for all types of training and education.

Learning outcomes describe the knowledge, skills and general competence students should have on completing and passing education or training. In other words, they do not reflect the institution’s or tutor’s purpose or intention for the teaching.

The NQF describes the three types of learning outcomes as follows:

  • Knowledge is an understanding of theories, facts, concepts, principles and procedures in subject areas and/or occupations.
  • Skills are the ability to utilise knowledge to solve problems or tasks. There are different types of skills, such as cognitive, practical, creative and communication skills.
  • General competence refers to the ability to utilise knowledge and skills in an independent manner in different situations, by demonstrating cooperation, responsibility, ability to reflect and apply critical thinking in work and study situations.

NQF describes how the three types of learning outcome descriptors can be worded and defined at different levels of education from primary school to doctoral level. The National Curriculum, which is based on the same framework, applies to primary and secondary education and training. (9)

Designing good, comprehensive and relevant learning outcome descriptors can be difficult, but they are key to the planning and design of a programme or course, and they are an important part of the programme description. The design of learning outcome descriptors must also be realistic with regard to the students’ scope of work, as described in the previous chapter. See also in-depth information in Chapter III.


  1. 8

    Regulations on the Norwegian Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (NQF) of 30 November 2017. https://lovdata.no/dokument/SF/forskrift/2017-11-08-1846

  2. 9

    https://www.udir.no/laring-og-trivsel/lareplanverket/ (retrieved 12 May 2023)

Meld deg på nyhetsbrev

Vil du få med deg siste nytt fra oss? Meld deg på vårt nyhetsbrev.

Dette feltet er for valideringsformål og skal stå uendret.

Du vil få en epost for bekreftelse av påmeldingen. Husk å sjekke spam!