Another form of Outcome Based Education shows up in "ASQ" - American Society for Quality

(Note from Education Expert Lynn Stuter: I am given to understand that homeschool message boards, nationwide, and being to post to their members and opportunity afforded them by ASQ)

Posted 8/11/02

ASQ stands for American Society for Quality ... ...

As some may suspect, this society is all about Total Quality Management
(TQM), Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), the High Performance Work
Organization (HPWO) ... or a plethora of other names under which TQM is
known, including Outcome-based Education (OBE) in which we are going to
"create" human resources that align with the "created future" .... systems
thinking ... systems governance.

Many are homeschooling to get away from this very thing.

Following is a document sent to an individual who sent it on to me.  The
document is from one of those involved in this project to draw
homeschoolers in.

Lynn Stuter

A Structured Approach to Becoming a
Self-Directed Learner

James Schoening

August 5, 2002


Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach him to fish and he will eat for life.
Teach children to learn on their own and they will excel in the 21st

A growing number of career fields require continuous learning, often
referred to as Lifelong Learning.  It is widely accepted in the field of
Education that children need to become self-directed Lifelong Learners.
Yet, no viable or comprehensive approach has emerged for what this
capability is, how to measure it, or how to certify its achievement.

This paper introduces an approach to this challenge being developed by
the American Society for Quality, Education Division.  Its fundamental
concept is that the ISO-9000 approach to quality management, already
being developed by leading schools, can be extended to individual
learning.  If properly set up and followed, a learner will establish,
demonstrate, and continuously improve his or her capabilities in
self-directed learning.  If properly documented, the learner could
achieve registration to ISO-9001:2000, which will assure employers and
colleges of these capabilities.

Elements of a an Individual's Learning Management System

 Learning is a process.  Self-directed Lifelong Learning is a set of
interrelated processes.  Quality Assurance (QA) has proven to be an
effective approach to improving any process, on any scale, of any size
organization.  This is true even for a one-person organization, which a
learner is considered to be in this approach.

 Self-directed or self-managed learning doesn't just happen; it must (as
the name implies) be managed.  This requires the learner to have a
management system, which in QA is called a Quality Management System
(QMS).   Within this paper, this system will be called a Learning
Management System (LMS).  Each individual will custom design their own
LMS, to meet their own unique learning challenges; however, a typical
LMS would likely include the following:

1. Establishment of learning goals, objectives, and overall life
2. Identification of customers (teachers, parents, self, future
spouse/family, future school, future employer)
3. Definition of key processes (complete reading assignment, study for
test, write report, lead team project, complete research paper,
prepare/present presentation, research career opportunities, establish
learning requirements, design learning experience.)
4. Execution of processes (where the actual learning takes place)
5. Maintenance of records (of processes followed)
6. Continual improvement of the system
7. Completion of regular self-audits of overall system

Benefits and Incentives for Learners and other Stakeholders

1. For college-bound students:
a. Acceptance at a better school, or into a desired program
b. Scholarships
c. Greater confidence in pursuing challenging major.

2. For work-bound students (currently in homeschool, high school,
college, night school, etc.)
a. Improved employment opportunities (in learning-intensive fields)

3. For home-schooled students
a. Structured approach to learning
b. Greater efficiency and effectiveness of learning
c. Structured approach for moving from parent-led to self-directed
d. Formal recognition (ISO9001:2000 registration) for learning

4. For school students:
a. Freedom to complete courses in self-directed vs. classroom mode
b. Better grades
c. Time savings
d. Broader choice of courses (in self-directed mode)
e. Recognition of achieving ISO9001:2000 registration

5. For teachers and schools:
 a. Help students become organized self-directed lifelong learners, a
goal of most schools.
 b. More options to engage students who don't respond to classroom

6. For curriculum publishers:
 a. Sell books and software for this new approach

7. For Employers:
 a. Reduce cost of initial and ongoing training (by converting from
classroom training to self-directed learning)
b. Reduce risk a new employee may not come up to speed
c. Greater employee productivity. Employees who won't fall behind.
d. Greater employee retention, by supporting their Lifelong Learning
activities and assuring them of maximum market value.

8. Employees
a. This approach will be easier to stick with over time
b. Maximize advancement and market value

Registration to ISO9001:2000

 Learners need recognition, for what they have learned and what they
have the potential for learning. This provides incentives for
achievement and also credentials to present to colleges or employers.
 The potential exists for self-directed learners to receive substantial
recognition of their skills in the form of registration to the
international standard ISO-9000:2000.  Those who organize their learning
processes based on the Quality Assurance elements found in this standard
will have the potential of receiving this registration.  As this has not
be done before, there will be many known and unknown issues to be
addressed, but there are currently no known reasons why this is not
 Registration would be by an independent 3rd party registrar, which
itself would be accredited to perform this service.  The registrar would
review the learner's Learning Management System and determine if all
relevant elements are covered.   If so, the learner would receive
registration.  If not, the learner would know what to work on.
 It is believed that colleges and employers (with learning-intensive
positions) will place high value on registration, since it will provide
high assurance the individual will achieve future learning objectives.

Gains Outweigh the Paperwork

     A key feature of ISO-9000 Quality Assurance is that it can be
scaled to any size organization, including an individual learner.  It
will add some paperwork and overhead to learning time, but should
produce increases in efficiency and effectiveness far in excess of this

Program Status and Pilot Implementations

The American Society for Quality, Education Division, Z1.XX Working
Group is currently drafting a guidance document entitled, "Guide for the
Application of ISO9001:2000 to Self-Directed Lifelong Learning,"
designed to help parents and schools help children develop a personal
system for self-directed learning.  This document will be refined based
on feedback from initial trials of this methodology.

Pilot Implementations

 This project is currently seeking homeschooler parents and their
children to pilot this approach.  Parents will receive one-on-one
step-by-step guidance in how to help their children develop a Learning
Management System.   Initial focus will be on selecting some key
processes for control.  For example, if a child spends too much time
completing reading assignments, that could be a good process for some
controls.  Or, if a child is given a loosely defined learning
assignment, but has trouble knowing how to approach it, that could be a
good process for establishing structure. The short-term objective will
be to demonstrate how some simple structure can produce significant
gains in efficiency and learning effectiveness.  Over time, the child
will be guided in establishing a personal Learning Management System
that will fully comply with ISO-9000:2000 and is worthy of
registration.  At that point, the individual will be fully capable of
maintaining their own system and utilizing it manage their own learning,
throughout their life.
Interested homeschooler parents are invited to inquire about
participation by contacting James Schoening at
 Once this approach has been demonstrated, schools will be sought to
conduct pilot implementations.  It is hoped that schools will eventually
evolve from classroom-centered instruction to providing students with
the resources, support, and guidance to become truly self-directed
learners.  While this will take a long time,  the potential exists.


Children need to become self-directed Lifelong Learners.  ISO-9000
Quality Assurance is a structured approach a learner can use to
establish a system to manage such learning.  A learner can achieve
ISO9001:2000 registration, which will assure schools, employers and
other stakeholders of this capability. If parents and schools are
serious about preparing students for Lifelong Learning, ISO-9000 is a
serious approach to achieving this goal.  Interested stakeholders are
invited to join this initiative.

About the author:  James Schoening founded and was the original Chair of
the 4000 member IEEE Learning Technology Task Force
( and IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee
( ).  He is an Electronics Engineer with the U.S.
Army where he has done extensive work in Learning Technology and can be
reached at


News Report from American Society for Quality

ASQ and ROQ Sign Historic Agreement

On June 14, 2002, representatives from ASQ and its Russian counterpart, the Russian Organization for Quality, signed a memorandum of understanding outlining areas of cooperation.

According to Michael O’Donoghue, Global Market Development manager, “We have been working with the Russian ministry GOSSTANDART for some time, helping them craft the ROQ. As a next step in the development of this relationship, both organizations have agreed to work together to advance the cause of performance excellence on a global scale.”

ASQ and ROQ have agreed to a relationship based on a bias for action, a willingness to experiment, and a strong element of mutual trust. Specific areas for exploration and action are as follows:

  • ASQ and ROQ will work together to develop a strategic plan of cooperation.

  • ASQ and ROQ desire to participate in the “ASQ Worldwide Research Initiative” as the world looks for new tools and techniques to drive performance excellence.

  • ASQ will provide ROQ with a developmental workshop on association management in order to transfer best practices of western organizations to the ROQ.

  • ASQ and ROQ will work to exchange publications and articles on quality in order to continue to expand mutual cooperation and interaction.

Looking toward the future, Michael would like ROQ to progress to WorldPartner status. He envisions a three- to five-year timeline.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]


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