# Differentiation by outcome

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sulas, Jan 1, 2012.

1. ### sulas

Both of these examples are by task
By outcome basically means you set all the children the same work and let them do what they can - you then mark/assess according to how well you expected them to do.
If you give different levels of stimulus or support then the outcomes will be different because of the differing types / levels of input.

2. ### modgepodgeEstablished commenter

My understanding is:
Same task for all children (e.g. write the introduction to the story) with different children achieving a different amount = differentiation by outcome.
Different task for different children/groups of chn (e.g. green table do maths book pay 5, red table page 6, yellow table page 7) = differentiation by task. Not to say all differentiation by task involves textbooks, obviously, but hopefully you see what I mean.
I would say your first task is diffentiation by outcome, as you've set them all the same task. You have given different groups different targets within that tas though, so assuming the targets are relevant and challenging then that's ok. The 2 different comprehension activities at different levels is differentiation by task (as the 2 groups are doing a different task). I think.....

3. ### jgsearl

I believe that teachers do differentiation, not children, so there is no such thing as differentiation by outcome. In the former example you are differentiating by setting clearly different expectations in outcomes from a similar exercise - differentiation by expectation, if you like. You are expecting the first group to show some understanding of full stops and capital letters. You are expecting the second group to get the full stops and capital letters mostly correct, and additionally show some understanding of adjectives/adverbs. This is fine, provided you make those differing expectations clear before the children start the task. In the latter example, you are doing much the same thing, but couching it in sub-level terminology, possibly using a completely different resource. Differentiation is simply having an understanding that different children have different current learning needs and setting them work accordingly. The danger in using the term 'differentiation by outcome' is that there is no difference whatsoever in what the children are asked to do, or produce.

4. ### minnieminxNew commenter

I think the problem for an observer would be that both groups have to use adjectives in order to write a description, so the differentiation you describe doesn't fully work. If everyone is writing a description then everyone is using sentences and adjectives, they cannot complete the task otherwise.

To differentiate this (assuming the LO is to use adjectives, why else would you be writing a description of an object?) you could have some children writing a paragraph, some completing sentences you have started, some writing appropriate adjectives around a picture of the object. This would then show all children meeting the LO, but at different levels of general writing.

If the text and questions are clearly different and require different levels then this would be by task and so fine.
Sounds a perfect description to me.

5. ### jucoop

Thanks for that. It was really helpful to get another opinion.

6. ### jucoop

Thanks for your response. So I am differentiating by task then as I make the different expectations clear before the children start the task and the learning objectives they write in their books reflect that. I think I'm going to have to find out what the school means by differentiation. Thanks again.

7. ### justbrowsing

I thought differentiation by outcome was a big NO NO.

8. ### jgsearl

A conversation in school would be a good idea. Try not to get bogged down by terminology though. Are you taking steps to meet the varying learning needs of different children? If you are, you are differentiating. However, how well you are differentiating (the impact) will be seen in the progress the children make! Good luck!

9. ### greta444New commenter

It's fine and often used in creative subjects such as art, music, DT. However, I differentiate by task in P.E.

10. ### jgsearl

If, in creative subjects, you teach a technique, ask the children to have a go and some children achieve an outcome better than others, that is not differentiation. If you teach a skill or technique and show children with a higher level of natural talent, or previously developed skill/knowledge than some others, how to achieve a better outcome, that is differentiation.

11. ### lumosnight

An interesting point. Do you think that differentiation by outcome goes hand in hand with adult intervention?

12. ### jgsearl

As I have said on another thread, I don't believe that "differentiation by outcome" is meaningful. Differentiation is something done by teachers to enable children at different levels of accomplishment/attainment to make the appropriate next step(s) in their learning. That thing can be work at different levels of difficulty (this includes varying support/direction), different work completely, or the clear expression of different expectations for outcomes for different children/groups undertaking a similar task. I always like to see some investigation within a lesson too. This enables children to go beyond the expectations and surprise their teacher!
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