Assessment Practices in Outcome-Based Education: Evaluation Drives Education

Assessment Practices in Outcome-Based Education: Evaluation Drives Education

Lavanya C., Jandhyala N. Murthy, Satyanarayana Kosaraju
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2245-5.ch004
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Evaluation is an essential process for the measurement of transformation that a student attains after a teaching learning process. Outcome-based education (OBE) in academics especially in the field of engineering is an accepted philosophy in recent years. The OBE system departs from the traditional method where assessment of students is based only on grades and/or ranks. Output has been the traditional measurement criterion in education field, which does not address the level of transformation in the learner, whereas outcome is the measurement of level of achievement showing the transformation. Assessment tools are required for the measurement of outcome. These tools could be direct tools for direct assessment or indirect tools for indirect assessment. An assessment can be a formative assessment or summative assessment. Learning is complete only if transformation is observable in all the vital aspects of attitude, skill, and knowledge. It is widely accepted that all these aspects can be measured in OBE.
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Outcome Based Education

Outcome based methods have been implemented in education system around the world, at various levels. Outcome Based Education (OBE) policies have been adopted by Australia and South Africa since 1990s (Donnelly Kevin, 2007 and Allais Stephanie, 2007). United States has also had an OBE program over the years, since 1994 (Austin Tammy, 2014).Hong Kong adopted OBE for its universities in 2005 (Kennedy Kerry, 2011).Malaysia in 2008, implemented OBE in all their public schools (Mohayidin, Mohd Ghazali, 2008).

The European Union has proposed an education shift to focus on outcomes, across the EU (European Commission, 2013). As an international effort to accept outcome based education, the Washington Accord was created in 1989. It is an agreement to recognize undergraduate engineering degrees that were obtained using OBE methods. Full signatories as on2018 are Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States (Washington Accord, 2012 and 2017).

Traditionally the education system all over the world has been relying on the quantitative measurement of the student outputs against an expected standard as a measure for student learning and student gradation. The test scores do not completely represent the actual behavior of the student in real life. Then evolved the new paradigm outcome based education. The basic difference between traditional teaching and outcome based education is mentioned below in Table 1.

Table 1.
Difference between output and outcome based education
CategoryOutput Based Education
(Traditional Teaching)
Outcome Based Education
(Transformation Teaching)
MethodologyTeacher – centeredLearner – centered
Focus PointsNumber of students graduatedCourse outcomes; Course Outcome that describes what a student is expected to know and can do at the end of the course.
Grades and /or ranks of the studentsAttitude, Skills and Knowledge of students
Number of students employed or career placedProfessional achievements of graduates
Role of InstructorTeacherFacilitator

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