Importance of Outcome-Based Education in Modern Education

07 Dec 2022
outcome-based education

What is the difference between the current educational scenario and the one that existed decades ago? The first thing that may come to your mind is the curriculum and how expansive it got, followed by an emphasis on diverse methodologies. Besides, it is necessary for institutes to adopt time-appropriate changes in terms of academic structure, administrative operations and inter-departmental procedures.

Furthermore, the previous educational system was singularly content-driven and focused more on a teacher-centric approach. As a result, some students succeeded, while others struggled to keep up with class due to low-level conceptual understanding or lack of analytical skills. However, institutes gradually incorporated unique pedagogies or strategies like outcome-based education to establish an aim-oriented and enriching teaching and learning system.

What is Outcome-Based Education?

Outcome-based education is a pedagogical approach that pre-defines the skills, knowledge and abilities that students should display by the end of a particular course or program. Furthermore, it’s a strategic technique that helps to establish competency-based learning standards. Hence, it enables teachers to keep track of the ongoing progress. So, if students fail to achieve their academic goals, teachers take appropriate measures to assist them.

Moreover, the approach points out that the faculty and students alike must know the ultimate goal from the beginning of the term or program. Besides, if you have a pre-established aim, it helps you to follow a particular path, but you need corresponding guidelines and timely assistance. That is precisely when the OBE becomes useful; it provides a mechanism for students to clarify their doubts and keep them motivated in their educational journey.

Plus, you might have noticed the disproportionate achievement, wherein some accomplished their career objectives, and others encountered difficulties. One cannot attribute the underlying reasons entirely to the students as the lack of appropriate educational structure is equally responsible. Therefore, the institute’s shift towards a modern approach that accounted for the student’s learning needs was a much-needed change.

What are the Components of Outcome-Based Education?

Components of Outcome-Based Education

The outcome-based education system is vastly different from the traditional educational approach and focuses on course and program outcomes. Moreover, teachers implement the approach with the following components:

1. Vision

2. Mission

3. PEOs

4. POs

5. Course Outcomes

1. Vision

The vision statement declares the institute’s goal of empowering students to fulfill their academic goals and facilitating a proper student support system.

2. Mission

The mission statement declares the institute's goal of preparing students in particular disciplines, including interdisciplinary studies. Besides, it also focuses on the overall development of students and stresses teaching relevant skills.

3. Program Educational Objectives(PEOs)

Program Educational Objectives are particular goals or qualities graduates are expected to possess in their academic and professional careers after graduation. Also, these objectives are in sync with vision-mission statements that the institutes prepare in collaboration with the stakeholders, including students, industry experts, alums, faculty, administration, etc.

Furthermore, the institute assesses the PEOs three to five years after students graduate from college through tracer study and employers' questionnaires surveys.

4. Program Outcomes(POs)

The Graduate Attributes, also known as Program Outcomes(POs), are central to OBE that help students in Engineering and other specific fields of study. Take a look at the following POs:

  • Engineering Knowledge
  • Problem Analysis
  • Design and development of solutions
  • Investigation
  • Modern tool usage
  • Ethics
  • Individual and teamwork
  • Communication
  • Project management and finance
  • Life-long learning
  • Engineering and Society( relates to applying reasoning to assess societal, health, safety, legal and cultural issues relevant to professional engineering practices.)

5. Course Outcomes

All courses fall under the academic programme with their course outcomes known as CO; institutes generate the course outcomes depending on the programme outcomes. Moreover, OC is the statement that enables learners to understand the primary reason for pursuing a particular course. Also, it helps them to determine what they will be able to do after the end of the course.

Moreover, with the identification of course outcomes, the next step is to develop assessment methods that help to measure learning outcomes. So, when the teachers receive the assessment results, they can use them for continuous quality improvement. First, however, it is essential for them to choose a suitable assessment method depending on the expected course outcome.

Why is Outcome-Based Education Important in a Modern Educational Set-up?

The modern education ecosystem does not necessarily follow the traditional education system's strict mandates that give little to no importance to individual learning requirements. Instead, the former focuses on establishing a modern system with the help of innovative approaches like OBE. Besides, OBE enables the faculty and institute to collaborate and provide effective educational opportunities due to the following reasons:

1. Clarity

Have you ever done something just because the majority of them are doing it? Unfortunately, lack of proper guidance often leads students to follow in their friend’s footsteps and regret their decisions. Also, even after enrolling on a program or course, students often find themselves confused and unable to determine their next step.

However, OBE does not let them face such uncertain situations because it provides transparent expectations of the particular course. Furthermore, they understand the course’s demands and goals, while teachers know what they must demonstrate.

Therefore, they get a sense of clarity from the beginning of a program, making it easy for them to advance step by step.

2. Adaptable Educational Structure

Teacher-centred methods, lectures, and assignments are vital aspects of the traditional educational system that have lost their relevance in today’s scenario. Institutes collaborate with the faculty to develop flexible classroom settings wherein the latter can use different mechanisms. Consequently, they don’t stick to a singular approach and implement varied methods after identifying the students' learning levels.

Furthermore, they integrate a student-centred learning model that enables students to learn complex concepts quickly.

3. In-Depth Analysis of Students

Monthly or yearly semester exams helped faculty to determine students’ theoretical knowledge, but it did not help to deduce their overall concept understanding. In contrast, outcome-based education provides a mechanism for them to use several advanced applications and tools. So they can track students’ individual progress and determine the recurrent issues. As a result, they get an in-depth analytic report of student performance, helping them to make adequate adjustments suitable to individual learning needs.

4. Skill Enhancement

Engineering and the medical field are two of the most popular career options in many countries across the world. Hence, you might have noticed the fierce competition and the pressure for students to do well to become eligible for enrolling in a top institute. But after graduating, some succeed in ascending the professional trajectory while others fail even to secure a decent job.

Nine out of ten times, the students fail to demonstrate the qualities and skills needed for a particular job. Therefore, institutes noted the crucial aspect and included skill enhancement as a vital part of learning outcomes. Hence, by the time students graduate, they will have practical knowledge of whatever they learned and additional in-demand skills.

5. Continuous Improvement

Continuous assessment is a significant part of OBE, which helps the faculty monitor students' progress levels. Moreover, they implement various in-class activities, including experiments, product analysis, presentations, field trips, group projects, etc. Consequently, such activities help to engage students and encourage them to participate.

Also, the approach ensures an active learning environment in the classroom and strives to enhance individual student abilities and knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Outcome-based education is an instructional approach that helps to clarify doubts regarding a particular course or program. Also, with the help of its framework, they can navigate throughout the academic cycle without losing focus.

On the other hand, teachers can use the approach strategically to keep track of the ongoing progress and elevate teaching and learning habits.

Gaurav Somani Author :

Gaurav Somani,

Academic Consultant

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