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10 steps to improve education quality and student achievement with outcome-based education

12 / 10 / 2016 Sriram

An outcome is a culminating demonstration of learning. It is a demonstration of learning that occurs after the completion of the academic program. It is the result of learning, which is a visible and observable demonstration of three things - knowledge, combined with competence, combined with orientations.

Traditional education systems doesn’t provide students with necessary knowledge and skills and fulfil the performance expectations. OBE transforms education into personalized learning and enable education institutions to design instruction models tailored to learning preferences of students. 

OBE is growing at astonishing rates all over the world. Every institution has a unique OBE framework to develop competent students to take on a professional career after graduation. All too often, this knowledge is not efficiently captured and used in higher education institutions. It is scattered in documents, spreadsheets, models, people’s minds and buried in paperwork. What if the linking of curriculum processes could be more easily captured in education institutions as higher education software mind maps that can be processed, activated, shared and reused to create better learning outcomes? 

A move to implement software tools to support outcome-based learning, teaching and assessments and evaluate student outcomes will improve learning outcomes and accelerate continuous quality improvement processes. Here are the 10 steps to improve education quality and student achievement with outcome based education software:

1.  Mission, Vision & Objectives

The central feature of OBE software is to prepare the mapping of the mission, vision and values set by the institute with the program educational objectives (PEOs).

2.  Program Educational Objectives (PEO)

In terms of student achievement, PEOs are assessed for longer duration when graduates are envisaged to achieve in their career 4-5 years after graduation. PEO attainment is based on stakeholder inputs using online survey questionnaire, which will reveal that graduates are broadly satisfied with their achievement in all PEOs. 

3.  Graduate Attributes (GA)

Graduate attributes are often known as key skills, generic attributes, transferable, employability and/or soft skills. Curriculum management software allows you to map graduate attributes to the curriculum design in order to achieve the desired learning outcomes in real time. 

4.  Student learning outcomes (SLO)

A learning outcome is what a student can do as a result of a learning experience. It describes the attributes of their ideal graduates based on their visions and missions as part of their institutional goals or outcomes, and using these as bases for developing specific program outcomes. The three broad types of learning outcomes are disciplinary knowledge and skills, generic skills and, attitudes and values.

5.  Program outcomes (PO)

Program outcomes are the sets of competencies (related knowledge, skills, and attitudes) that all learners are expected to demonstrate. These desired outcomes are mapped to the expected learning outcomes in specific courses. The desired course and learning outcomes are attained through assessment and evaluation tools.           

6.  Course outcomes (CO)

Course outcomes refer to the knowledge, values, and skills all learners are expected to demonstrate at the end of a course. Learning outcomes are mapped to course outcomes and program outcomes.

7.  Syllabus, Unit & Lesson Plan Outcomes

Course outcomes lead to lesson outcomes. Create syllabus, unit and lesson plan to link with the learning outcomes of each teaching activity that aids coherence and cohesion in student learning.

8.  Teaching Methods

Technology-enabled performance demonstration of pedagogical learning through video lectures, podcasts, and slide presentations would innovate and enhance students learning experience. Technology-aided teaching methods and assessments would enable education institutions to accurately and perfectly map with the targeted outcome. This enables students and faculty to work together as partners toward achieving a visible and clear goal.

9.  Assessment & Evaluation Tools

Implementing OBE further translates to the quality and orientation of the faculty members. The core mission of teaching is to build the learning competencies through online tests, assignments, quizzes and puzzles, and evaluation of courses/faculty through survey questionnaire for attainment of PEOs.

10.  Customizable Rubrics & Marking Schemes

Assessment of writing, oral communication, critical thinking, or information literacy often requires rubrics. Automated rubrics are standardized scoring guides that assist evaluators to make assessment more transparent, easy, consistent, and objective and determine the quality of student work in a consistent manner.

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) 

Online assessment and evaluation process provide critical information to faculty and administrators on the effectiveness of the program design, delivery, and objectives. Continuous Improvement tools based on digital feedback loops through course/faculty evaluations will enable the institution to enhance quality of education and the process will continue year after year.

Outcome-based Education & Accreditation

Accreditation Management System offers automated tools which enable higher education institutes to easily measure the achievement of the outcomes of the program and improve quality of higher education.

Student Success

There is a paradigm shift from traditional OBE to technology-based, learner-centred result-oriented OBE, which is reflected on the key purpose that technology enhances learning and performance abilities of students before they leave the institution. Structuring and operating colleges, universities and higher education institutions to achieve and maximize learning outcomes of students is the key to OBE principles.

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