Outcomes-Based Education

Traditionally, teachers used to plan their teaching by asking such questions as: What topics or content do I teach? What teaching methods do I use? How do I assess to see if the students have taken on board what I have taught them?

In Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), teachers would ask: What do I want my students to do after my teaching that they couldn’t do before, and to what standard? How do I supply learning activities that will help them achieve those outcomes? How do I assess them to see how well they have achieved those outcomes?

In our country, OBE  comes in the form of competency-based learning standards and outcomes-based quality assurance monitoring and evaluation spelled out under the Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 46, s. 2012.

Corollary to this, the CHED has offered financial incentives to the major agencies which signed a MOA to revise their instruments for alignment with outcomes-based quality assurance, modeled by CHED. Concerned agencies are presently at the height of responding to this CHED challenge to realign their Standards and Accreditation instruments to the Outcomes-Based Quality Assurance System.

The AACCUP for its part, has Dr. Luis M. Sorolla Jr., AACCUP president, and Dr. Manuel T. Corpus, founding president and executive director, declaring in a letter to all presidents of state universities and colleges (SUC), that “the year 2014 will mark a milestone in the history of higher education in the country, for it is the year when the CHED-sponsored Outcomes-Based Quality Assurance will be implemented by all HEIs concerned. The AACCUP, the two agency moguls, is committed to implement the new system in 2014, with the use of refocused tools, presently the subject of various workshops and committee work.

So the outcome-based education has metamorphosed into Outcomes-Based Quality Assurance and later, Outcome-Based Teaching Learning (OBTL) which starts with clearly stating, not what the teacher is going to teach, but what the outcome of that teaching should be, what the learner is supposed to do and at what standard.  In the offing is the Outcomes-Based Teacher Education Curriculum (OBTEC) being pioneered by the National Center for Teacher Education, the Philippine Normal University, to produce innovative teachers, competent educational leaders, and proficient research scholars.

In Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Kansas, educators were mulling over plans to adopt outcomes-based concrete education reforms. Twenty-six other states claim to have generated outcomes-based programs, and at least another nine are moving in that direction.

With all this enthusiasm on outcome-based reforms, what will be the outcome of these moves, come 2016? The public declaration by AACCUP of its commitment to the provisions of CMO No. 46, s. 2012 and the cooperation of other accrediting agencies as well as state and private higher education institutions, to adopt outcomes-based strategies for educational reform, augurs well. In fact, it spells out the apex of quality higher education in the country. (Email the writer at nilo.colinares@yahoo.com)

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