Outcomes Based Learning Professional Handbook

By Special Tactics Pro Shop


It is remarkable that with all of mankind's progress and knowledge, we still think that sitting in a chair and watching a PowerPoint presentation is an effective way to learn. A better approach to learning and training has been gaining traction within the U.S. military ever since the early days of the Global War on Terror. Outcomes Based Learning (OBL) also known as Outcomes Based Training and Education (OBT&E) combines cutting-edge brain science with real-world combat lessons to dramatically improve training effectiveness and battlefield performance.

OBL teaches students how to think instead of what to think by taking them outside their comfort zone and placing them in challenging and uncertain training environments built around realistic, scenario-based training evolutions. This approach simultaneously fosters important personal attributes including adaptability, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, judgment, confidence, and moral courage. Major topics covered in this book include:

  • The evolution of process-based and outcomes-based training
  • Maneuver Warfare Theory, John Boyd and the OODA Loop
  • Developing outcomes for attributes, skills, and knowledge
  • Examples of OBL application to various combat training subjects
  • Free-play force-on-force scenario training
  • Tactical Decision Exercises (TDEs), wargames, staff rides, and historical case studies
  • More effective ways to conduct an After Action Review (AAR)

While this book might be written with the military/LE audience in mind, we hope that it will eventually reach and benefit a wider audience of interested and motivated people. The military focus of the book should not prevent non-military readers from adapting its core principles.

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