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20 step guide for implementing Outcome Based Education

14 / 12 / 2018 Mary Clotilda Suvin

OBE Implementation Process

  1. Establish Mission statements, Program Educational Objectives
  2. Map Mission Statements with Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)
  3. Define PLO with Bloom's Taxonomy
  4. Map Program Educational Objectives with PLO
  5. Define CO (Course Objectives)
  6. Define CLO (Course Learning Outcomes) with Bloom’s Taxonomy for each Course
  7. Map Courses with PLO at suitable levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
  8. Map CLO with PLO at suitable levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
  9. Map Assessment Pattern with CLO of each course
  10. Map Topics with CLOs
  11. Define pedagogical tools for course outcomes delivery
  12. Preparing session-wise Course Lesson Planner
  13. Map Questions with CLO’s at Bloom’s Taxonomy levels & Assessments
  14. Define rubrics with Bloom’s Taxonomy and CLO
  15. Track students performance by proposing proper remedial measures
  16. Measure students performance against CLO threshold, course-wise
  17. Measure students performance against PLO threshold, semester-wise
  18. Measure the attainment of each PLO through Direct/Indirect assessments
  19. Compare PLO for last 3 academic years and propose remedial actions
  20. Assess the attainment of Program Educational Objectives

In our earlier blog, we have covered Outcome Based Education in great length. But how do we adapt this educational theory to a educational institution.  The time has come at last! Organizations and Institutions have started raving about implementing the Outcome Based Education of William Spady 1994. There is more and more talks ongoing about the business outcome that will be achieved through this implementation. This blog aims to give a clear picture of steps to implement Outcome Based Education in your premises.

What does it exactly take to implement an Outcome-Based Learning Framework?

One cannot eschew the fact that organizations, irrespective of their sizes are meddling amidst ups and downs, with many stumbling blocks on their way. Failing economies, unpredictable GDPs, rising demographic challenges and many others. Whatever be, an organization’s goal to move forward is only with its ROI in mind. Not just Institutions pertaining to Learning but Development units are growing keen on tracking and showcasing the outcome of learning programs. Gone are the days when focus was more on off-the-desk work which doesn’t reflect on the business goals. Rather, there is a new shift now where clarity of focus is vested in designing learning management solutions that would directly impact on the business goals. Every single training done, thus focuses on the impact or the outcome-based learning solutions and its expanded opportunities.

What are the components and areas of governance which would synchronize for a realistic framework with specific outcomes? This left us thinking, which made us come out with this blog. Hence, here is a 20 step guide for effective Outcome Based Education implementation in your Institution.


Outcome Based Education Implementation Process


  1. Establishing mission statements, Program Educational Objectives.

    Establishing the mission statement of any institute should be the first and foremost step when implementing OBE. The statement you chose should be futuristic and the mission should help achieve the Program Educational Objectives (PEO).

    To arrive at this indulge in surveys of all kinds. This will help you get into the nerves of the current industry, meet-up with the challenges, existing norms and learn the prevailing demands of the particular industry. These following surveys could help.

    • Employer survey
    • Student survey
    • Alumni survey
    • Parent / Guardian survey

    Pool in employers, students, alumni and parent/guardian into your survey list. There could leave you with cue for building your personalized Outcome Based Education (OBE). This could easily result in streamlining 5 levels of mapping, Assessments & Assignments, Outcomes Attainment, along with Accreditation Support.

  2. Mapping Mission statements with Program Educational Objectives.

    This should be your next step for a successful implementation. Without doubt, the program educational objectives should fall in line with the organizational business goals. All levels of employees in an organization should be transmitted about the clear and transparent mission statement alongside the PEO.

  3. Defining Program Learning Outcomes with Bloom's Taxonomy.

    Ruling out William Spady and his school of thought could become a sin here! Therefore, structuring the learning outcomes with Bloom’s Taxonomy as a framework is vital. Bloom’s Taxonomy breaks down learning into six categories and further each into a set of specific skills which can be used to demonstrate learning at higher levels.

  4. Mapping Program Educational Objectives with Program Learning Outcomes.

    The next important step to be followed is Mapping PO with LO. An efficient OBE should have a set of threshold values and mapping questions to calculate the outcomes attainment. Mapping Learning Outcomes is nothing but aligning course-level outcomes with program outcomes. A faculty can explore the students program-level outcomes at the course level using this mapping.

  5. Defining Course Objectives for each course.

    A training or course cannot simply progress without an Objective. Designing the Course Objectives keeping in mind the specific leaner group is essential for a successful implementation of OBE. The finality lies in cross checking if those course objectives were met during the tenure of the course. Remember the course objectives should be broader, similar to aspirational statements which instigates learning in any given environment.

  6. Defining Course Learning outcomes with Bloom’s Taxonomy and Threshold for each course.

    Do you believe that the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) are vital to your course curriculum? Completely measurable and observable, it has to be aligned with the Bloom’s Taxonomy objectives for an effective learning environment. Most of the resources link Bloom’s taxonomy to appropriate verbs for their level of activities. Consideration of these can be a useful way to inspire aligned methods of assessment.

  7. Mapping Courses with Program Learning Outcomes at appropriate levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Mapping level I).

    Considering the level group a learner belongs to, PLO’s should be mapped in line with Bloom’s Taxonomy.

  8. Mapping Course Learning Outcomes with Program Learning Outcomes at appropriate levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Mapping level II).

    Applicable to all levels of learners, this particular step of mapping LO with PLO can never be ignored.

  9. Mapping assessment pattern with Course Learning Outcomes of each course.(Mapping level III).

    Assessments could take any form. They could be graded with student’s project, rubric, presentations made by student or even more. When these assessments get mapped with the course learning outcome, it promotes a perfect OBE based enhanced learning. It results in measuring the right level of student performance harvested for a meaningful assessment of a student learning.

  10. Mapping Topics with Course Learning Outcomes (Mapping level IV).

    This step cannot be evaded when trying to implement an Outcome Based Education. Inheriting an ill-fitting syllabus will blindfold the learner’s in a long journey. Similarly, following someone else’s syllabus cannot do the needful. One has to effectively meet the expected course learning outcomes by mapping well-thought-out topics alongside. A cue - an effective Course Evaluation Software can make your job easy here.

  11. Define Pedagogical tools for each course outcomes delivery.

    MR. ORS Rao from ICFAI University, Jharkhand, explains the impact of pedagogy on Learning Outcomes. He goes on to say that defining pedagogical tools while teaching subjects add to the learning effectiveness depending upon the profile of the learner.

  12. Preparing session wise Course Lesson Planner.

    A well-knit lesson plan is call for the day! Exciting and effective lesson plan is fundamental to instigate the learners and help them attain educational value. However, teachers sometime fall a trap by failing to do so.

  13. Mapping Questions with Course Learning Outcomes at appropriate levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and maps it with assessments.

    Ensure to frame questions using the Bloom’s Taxonomy verbs (both during class and written assignments) from the Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analyze, Synthesis, and Evaluation levels of taxonomy pyramid. This is a sure criteria for Outcome Based Education implementation to happen. So do not miss this out!

  14. Defining rubrics for each activity, appropriate enough to measure the learning of the students based on the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and its mapped Course Learning Outcomes.

    Outcome Based Education without a set of rubrics is a sure failure. Rubrics should cater to the different levels of learners, should measure their capabilities, and should be mapped with the learning outcomes.

  15. Measuring performance of the students after each Assessment component, and thereby proposing remedial measures to increase the learning process of each student.

    Tackling the arduous steps of any learner should be a pivotal criteria in any Outcome Based Education. Remedials should be redesigned innovatively that aims at grooming knowledge and skills to the learner. Providing a well accompanied curricular support adds to the intensity of Outcome Based Education (OBE).

  16. Measuring performance of the students against Course Learning Outcomes threshold for each course, and finding out the strengths and shortfalls of the learning taken place, proposing necessary changes in Teaching-Learning Process, Course Content, Topics of the course.

    Can’t ignore, but this a watershed when it comes to implementing OBE. Any teaching/learning is supposed to have shortfalls. Ignoring it is, but a big fault. An OBE established class will gauge the teaching/learning happening, analyse inadequacies, and propose ways to improvise them.

  17. Measuring performance of the students against PLO threshold for each semester.

    This can be attained by taking course outcomes reports from each course Instruction team, and identify the levels of expectations fixed, level of learning actually took place and the gaps therein. Thereby propose necessary remedial actions to fill the gap in regard to each course and each student of the course.

  18. Measuring the attainment of each Program Learning Outcomes through Direct and Indirect assessments.

    A sound education platform cannot rely on just a single method of Assessment. A comprehensive higher education software, Crearix’s Assessment does a whole lot of help here. It only reflects on part of students’ achievement and not whole. This will result in an inefficient way of producing SLO. For an effective SLO, both direct and indirect assessment methods are highly fool proof. While responses from student surveys may be informative, the student’s paper pen test cannot be ruled away. With a combination of both of these, we get a meaningful, valid, and a reliable SLO.

  19. Comparing Program Learning Outcomes attainment for the last 3 academic years and propose remedial actions.

    This works the best, trust on us! Aligning PLO’s with the LO at the end of the academic year and proposing remedial actions can get your OBE run high spiritedly in any organization.

  20. Assess the attainment of Program Educational Objectives between 3 to 5 years of graduation for every batch of students and propose suitable changes.

    Assess the attainment of Program Educational Objectives between 3 to 5 years of graduation for every batch of students and propose suitable changes.

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