Looking for up-to-date Help documentation? Documentation for the latest releases of Totara is now available at totara.help!

Visit the new Help site

All pages

Outcomes allow you to grade learners work against specific learning goals, rather than just numeric grades or overall completion of activities. The default outcome grading scale measures whether a learner is, 'Not yet competent' or 'Competent' regarding an outcome. As outcomes are a measure of a learners skills they are similar to competencies

Creating outcomes

Before you can create outcomes at either a course or site level they must first be enabled on the site. This must be done by a Site Administrator by ticking Enable outcomes under Advanced features. You can then either create Custom outcomes (course-level) or Standard outcomes which are available across the site.

Creating outcomes at a course-level

  1. Go to Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block then click Edit outcomes
  2. Click Add new outcome
  3. Configure the settings
  4. Click Save changes. 

Adding course outcomes.

Creating outcomes at a site-level

As a Site Administrator you can create an outcome at a site level, this will be available to all users. 

  1. Go to Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block.  
  2. Click Add new outcome
  3. Configure the settings
  4. Click Save changes. 

Adding outcomes at a site level.


Full nameThe name of the outcome.-
Short nameA shortname, this is not displayed. -
Standard outcomeA standard outcome is one that is available across the site. This is selected by default when creating at a site-level and cannot be changed. 
ScaleSelect a grade scale to use with the outcome. Clicking the Add new scale link will take you to a new screen to create a grade scale-
DescriptionOptionally you can add a description of the outcome. -

Assigning outcomes to a course 

You can add or remove standard outcomes from a course, that is those that have been created by a Site Adminsitrator at a site-level. If a standard outcome is available on a course then it will be possible to assign it to activities in the Outcome section of the settings. 

Custom outcomes, those created within the course, cannot be removed from that course. You can delete them using the cross icon () provided they are not being used by any activities. 

  1. Go to Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block. 
  2. Select the outcomes you want to add and click Add.
  3. Select any outcomes you wsih to remove and click Remove

Assigning standard outcomes to a course.

Editing outcomes

You can edit any outcomes you have created by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the list of outcomes.
    • From a site level this is Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block. 
    • From a course level this is Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block then click Edit outcomes
  2. Click the cog icon () alongside the outcome. 
  3. Configure the settings
  4. Click Save changes. 

You can also delete an outcome you have created in the same location by clicking the cross icon ().

Editing a grade outcome item

In the gradebook you can edit the settings for an individual outcome grade item following these steps:

  1. In the gradebook click Turn editing on.
  2. Underneath the outcome grade item click the cog icon (). 
  3. Configure the settings.
  4. Click Save changes

Grade outcome item settings 

Item nameThe name of the custom grade calculate outcome item. -
Item infoThis setting provides space for entering information about the item. The information is not displayed anywhere else.-
ID number

Setting an ID number provides a way of identifying the activity for grade calculation purposes.

OutcomeUse the dropdown menu to select another outcome to associate with this grade outcome item. -
Linked activityUse the dropdown menu to select an activity from the course to link to this outcome. You can also use the Assign another outcome to this course link to make other outcomes available. -
HiddenDetermines whether grades are hidden from learners. -
Hidden untilIf the item has been set to hidden then a hidden until date may be set if desired, to release grades after grading is completed.-
LockedDetermines whether grades are locked. Locked grades can no longer be automatically updated by the related activity.-
Lock afterIf you wish to lock the item at a later date then you can set when you wish the grades to be locked. -
Grade categoryThe name of the parent category this item sits in. This cannot be edited here as it is tied to where the grade item activity sits. -

Using outcomes

Once you have set-up at least one outcome then you may start to use these for grading within activities on your course.

Enabling outcomes

To do this you will need to go into each individual activity and enable outcomes in the activity settings.

  1. Edit the settings for an activity.
  2. Under the Outcomes section tick the outcomes you wish to use - you can select multiple.
  3. Click Save changes.  

Grading with outcomes

Once you have enabled outcomes for a particular activity (see above) you can then grade work with them. How this is done depends on the particular activity you are grading.

  • Inbuilt grading: Some activities such as assignments have inbuilt grading, so you can select the desired outcome from a dropdown menu when grading work through the activity.
  • Gradebook grading: If an activity does not have inbuilt outcome grading or you just find it easier you can grade outcomes via the gradebook. Access the single view report for that outcome grade item and then use the dropdown next to each learner's name to set their outcomes.  

Setting learner outcomes via the Single view report in the gradebook.

Exporting outcomes

It is possible to export outcomes which can then be imported into another course or Totara Learn site.

  1. Navigate to the list of outcomes.
    • From a site level this is Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block. 
    • From a course level this is Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block then click Edit outcomes
  2. Click Export all outcomes

A download will of a CSV file will happen automatically. 

Importing outcomes

If you have a CSV file of exported outcomes then you may import them into a course and make them available to either just that course or across the site. 

  1. Go to Grades > Outcomes from the Administration block.
  2. From the dropdown (or tab) menu select Import outcomes
  3. Configure the settings.
  4. Click Upload this file

Import settings

Import as custom outcomes (only this course)If selected the imported outcomes will only be available on this course. -
Import as standard outcomesIf selected the imported outcomes will be available across the site. -
Import outcomesThis is where you should upload your outcomes file by either browsing for it or dragging and dropping it into the upload area. -
On this page

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Grading, completion and certificates in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use these tools, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?