Following are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Outcome Based Education, answered by experts in our mentor panel.
What is the Psychological significance of OBE?
One of the basic principles of OBE is to provide expanded opportunities to the learner. This is based on the psychological perspective that anyone can learn, provided that the activities provided suits the learner’s level of capabilities. Positively, OBE caters to the individual difference of the learner. Moreover, in an OBE-approach, a student is not a passive recipient but an active and focused participant in the process of constructing knowledge and skills in the lines of the outcome. Frequent feedback about their performance will be a motivating factor which boosts up their future learning endeavour. Hence, OBE is a clear system which is rooted in a learner-centred approach with a sound psychological backup.
How many COs are needed for a course?
Well, there is no definite number. The Course Outcomes are the end product of a course. So the number of COs should depend on the nature of the course.
It may not be a good idea to fix the number of COs to a constant number as the nature and scope of each course vary. But it may be a better practice to keep the number to an optimal range like 5 to 6, based on the generic nature of courses within a programme.
Is it mandatory that Blooms Taxonomy should be used for defining outcomes?
Implementation of OBE in India has its root from WA (Washington Accord). As per the agreement, all the nations have decided to adopt OBE with Bloom’s taxonomy as the standard for scaling the levels of learning. Regarding the methodology in the formulation of an outcome, we need an action verb to make the outcome observable. If this action verb is in a standardized format (as per Bloom’s Taxonomy) it will be easy for anyone to understand the cognitive challenge expected from the part of the learner. Obviously, it will be cool to estimate the strength of mapping; an outcome has with the Outcomes of higher-order in the (OBE architecture). Moreover, Blooms Taxonomy is a widely accepted classification worldwide, with appropriate variability to identify the level of learning from the basic level of rote memorization to the highest order of creativity.
How to evaluate CO for activities? Does it become subjective?
For the Assessment of CO of activities like Assignments, Projects, Industrial visits etc, we have to prepare Rubrics for evaluation. Rubrics are just criteria for valuation where we grade the students as per the stated criteria. In order to eliminate subjectivity in the evaluation process, it is a good practice to state the quality statements for each criterion in advance. For the assessment of the COs, we have to point each criterion to the corresponding outcomes with the strength of mapping. Obviously, when we proceed with the evaluation of the work automatically the assessment of COs could be estimated with respect to the attainment of the students with respect to each criterion.
Will it be a tough task from the part of teachers to assess every student individually? How could it be managed along with normal teaching?
In the present context of our educational system, OBE based assessments are done along with the normal assessment practices. Obviously, it will demand some additional effort from the part of the teachers. But in the current technology-enabled system, we could integrate a lot of smart practices to lessen the effort and make the process more reliable and valid.
Positively, integration of the possibilities of innovation and technology could make the OBE related activities systematic and manageable.
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