Outcome-based education (OBE) is an educational theory that bases each part of an educational system around goals (outcomes). By the end of the educational experience, each student should have achieved the goal. There is no single specified style of teaching or assessment in OBE; instead, classes, opportunities, and assessments should all help students achieve the specified outcomes.The role of the faculty adapts into instructor, trainer, facilitator, and/or mentor based on the outcomes targeted.
Outcome-based methods have been adopted in education systems around the world, at multiple levels. Australia and South Africa adopted OBE policies in the early 1990s but have since been phased out.The United States has had an OBE program in place since 1994 that has been adapted over the years. In 2005, Hong Kong adopted an outcome-based approach for its universities.Malaysia implemented OBE in all of their public schools systems in 2008. The European Union has proposed an education shift to focus on outcomes, across the EU.In an international effort to accept OBE, The Washington Accord was created in 1989; it is an agreement to accept undergraduate engineering degrees that were obtained using OBE methods. As of 2017, the full signatories are Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, China and the United States.
Differences from traditional education methods :
In a regional/local/foundational/electrical education system, students are given grades and rankings compared to each other. Content and performance expectations are based primarily on what was taught in the past to students of a given age of 12-18. The goal of this education was to present the knowledge and skills of an older generation to the new generation of students, and to provide students with an environment in which to learn. The process paid little attention (beyond the classroom teacher) to whether or not students learn any of the material.
Benefits of OBE :
The focus on outcomes creates a clear expectation of what needs to be accomplished by the end of the course. Students will understand what is expected of them and teachers will know what they need to teach during the course. Clarity is important over years of schooling and when team teaching is involved. Each team member, or year in school, will have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished in each class, or at each level, allowing students to progress. Those designing and planning the curriculum are expected to work backwards once an outcome has been decided upon; they must determine what knowledge and skills will be required to reach the outcome.
With a clear sense of what needs to be accomplished, instructors will be able to structure their lessons around the student’s needs. OBE does not specify a specific method of instruction, leaving instructors free to teach their students using any method. Instructors will also be able to recognize diversity among students by using various teaching and assessment techniques during their class. OBE is meant to be a student-centered learning model. Teachers are meant to guide and help the students understand the material in any way necessary, study guides, and group work are some of the methods instructors can use to facilitate students learning.
OBE can be compared across different institutions. On an individual level, institutions can look at what outcomes a student has achieved to decide what level the student would be at within a new institution. On an institutional level, institutions can compare themselves, by checking to see what outcomes they have in common, and find places where they may need improvement, based on the achievement of outcomes at other institutions. The ability to compare easily across institutions allows students to move between institutions with relative ease. The institutions can compare outcomes to determine what credits to award the student. The clearly articulated outcomes should allow institutions to assess the student’s achievements rapidly, leading to increased movement of students. These outcomes also work for school to work transitions. A potential employer can look at records of the potential employee to determine what outcomes they have achieved. They can then determine if the potential employee has the skills necessary for the job.
Student involvement in the classroom is a key part of OBE. Students are expected to do their own learning, so that they gain a full understanding of the material. Increased student involvement allows students to feel responsible for their own learning, and they should learn more through this individual learning.Other aspects of involvement are parental and community, through developing curriculum, or making changes to it. OBE outcomes are meant to be decided upon within a school system, or at a local level. Parents and community members are asked to give input in order to uphold the standards of education within a community and to ensure that students will be prepared for life after school.
OBE in Software Engineering UAJK :
The Department of Software Engineering has started exercising the OBE system at the undergraduate level staring from session 2017 onwards.