The most important principles of outcomes-based education (OBE) is that planning,
teaching and assessment should focus on helping learners to achieve significant
outcomes to high standards. This cannot be achieved without having suitable ways
to describe desired learning outcomes and the quality of students' demonstrations
of learning. This article outlines a systematic approach to defining outcomes and
describing the relationship between learners' responses to assessment items and
their levels of understanding. The approach is based on the Structure of the
Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) taxonomy with multimodal functioning ± a means of analysing learner understanding that is based on modes of thinking, forms of knowledge and ways of structuring knowledge.