Parallel Learning Outcomes

When asked how education could possibly end terrorism, she replied by saying that “in school you don’t learn about science, math and geography only. At school, you learn about equality, you learn about teamwork and you learn about accepting differences”.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel peace prize awardee and a role model in epitomizing education equality and freedom of expression, has unintentionally pointed out that in a formal well-structured and designed learning context, another type of learning takes place that sometimes is more important than the actual core learning itself, we call it Parallel Learning.

Sometimes referred to as Secondary LO, Parallel Learning Outcomes are not directly intended by the core topics of the training; however, they are needed to compliment the LO and build on them. Parallel LOs are acquired through the journey experience or some activities in the learning topics and are hugely influenced by the interaction between learners within the overall learning context, along with other factors.


It is sometimes believed that the Parallel LOs should not be explicitly discussed or brought up. However, parallel outcomes are usually spontaneously achieved through the learner’s interactions with he learning materials, other learners, facilitators and even himself. They content of the Parallel LOs may come up in during these interactions, but are rarely the main focus of any discussion.

For example:

In a session about Time Management, one of the parallel LO may be to teach the learner “how to say NO”. This is not a core learner outcome in a Time Management session but will definitely enforce and support the original learner outcomes. Accordingly certain activities should be designed to improve the learner’s abilities “on how to say NO”.

Assuming that this Time Management session is a part of a corporate training camp where one of the objectives is to increase teambuilding, the design phase should include customized teambuilding activities along with an open discussion of teambuilding in the reviewing phase. This doesn’t contradict the fact that team building is still a parallel LO.

Make sure that parallel LO has to be written in details, in a measurable and a clear way, just as the LO, to be able to achieve it in the design.

In order for any design process to succeed, it requires clear objectives and good knowledge of the people involved in this process. This information is fundamental for defining Primarily and Parallel learning outcomes and accordingly formulating a successful LXD. At Sega we believe that learners’ Interaction has a lot of parallel outcomes where learners learn how to think positively, are motivated to continue learning and form networks.

Share with us your personal experience, as facilitator, designers, or learner, with Parallel Learning outcomes!

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