Methodist College of Engineering and Technology (MCET) has adopted the Outcome Based Education (OBE) framework in its academic program. In what follows, is a brief description on the OBE, its related terminology and the mechanism by the college has adopted the OBE.
Outcome Based Education
Outcome-based education (OBE) is an educational theory or pedagogy that assigns each part of the educational process to certain goals, called outcomes. By the end of the learning session, either a small unit or the entire course, each student should have achieved the outcome set for that unit or the course. The teacher can use any style of teaching and assessment, which should all help students achieve the specified outcomes. OBE is more a student centric approach. The role of the faculty is more of a facilitator, guide and/or mentor, to help the student achieve theset outcomes.
In an international effort to accept OBE, the Washington Accord was created in 1989; it is an agreement to accept undergraduate engineering degrees that were obtained using OBE methods. As of 2017, the full signatories are Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, China and the United States.
Based on the Graduate Attributes laid down in Washington Accord, the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), India, has defined a set of twelve Program Outcomes for 4 Year Undergraduate degree programs in Engineering & Technology, which are expected to be attained by an engineering graduate. These are as follows:
At the end of the fouryear Bachelor of Engineering Program, engineering graduates will be able to:
In addition, all departments have defined 2-4 Program Specific Outcomes (PSOs). For specific programs, the departmental committees chaired by the respective Heads of the Department, frame the Program specific outcomes taking into consideration the educational and employability needs of the students, while aligning to the Department’s and Institute’s Vision and Mission statements.
The Vision, Mission, the Program Educational Objectives (PEOs), Program Specific Outcomes (PSOs) and Course Outcomes (COs) for each department is reflected in the departmental webpages.
Course Outcomes (COs)
Course Outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students areexpected to know and are able to do at the end of each course. These relate to the skills, knowledge and attitudes that students acquire in their progressthrough the course.
The Program Outcomes (POs) are achieved through the medium of the curricular courses. Thus, Course Outcomes (COs) form the vital link in achieving the POs. If through the COs in all the courses in the curriculum, certain POs are not addressed or attained, then it is said that there are curricular gaps in achieving the POs. These curricular gaps are addressed through co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, which are beyond the curriculum.
Bloom’s taxonomy is a popularly adopted framework for categorizing educational goals. These are widely used in teaching, learning and assessment, to make students go through various levels incognitive domain of learning. According to revised Bloom’s taxonomy, the levels in cognitive domain are as follows:
1. Remembering:Recalling from memory of previously learned material
2. Understanding: Explaining ideas or concepts
3. Applying:Using information in another familiar situation
4. Analyzing:Breaking information into part to exploreunderstandings and relationships
5. Evaluating:Justifying a decision or course of action
6. Creating:Generating new ideas, products or new ways ofviewing things
Bloom’s Taxonomy is hierarchical, meaning that learning at the higher level requires that skills at lowerlevel are attained.
Action Verbs for Outcomes definition and Assessment
Over the time, educators havecome up with taxonomy of measurable verbs corresponding to each of the Bloom’s cognitive levels. These verbs help to describe and classify observable knowledge, skills and abilities. These also help to frame the examination or assignment questions that are appropriate to the learning level thata teacher is trying to assess in a student. In the AICTE’s published document, “Recommendations for Examination Reforms” the following are the recommended action verbs associated with each taxonomy level.
Bloom's Taxonomy Level
list, define, tell, describe, recite, recall, identify, show, label, tabulate, quote,
describe, explain, paraphrase, restate, associate, contrast, summarize, differentiate interpret, discuss
calculate, predict, apply, solve, illustrate, use, demonstrate, determine, model, experiment, show, examine, modify
classify, outline, breakdown, categorize, analyze, diagram, illustrate, infer, select
assess, decide, choose, rank, grade, test, measure, defend, recommend, convince, select, judge, support, conclude, argue, justify, compare, summarize, evaluate
design, formulate, build, invent, create, compose, generate, derive, modify, develop, integrate
Formulation of the Course Outcomes
The course outcomes (COs) for each course of the curriculum is formulated by the respective faculty, who is assigned for taking up the course, before the commencement of the academic program. The course outcomes are formulated keeping in mind the following:
About 4-6 COs are written for each course, in which, the action verbs corresponding to the Bloom’s taxonomy level for cognitive learning is identified and highlighted.
Attainment of Course Outcomes
Theory courses consists of continuous internal evaluation (CIE) process which has two Mid-term examinations of 20 marks each and Assignments and Quizzes of 5 marks each.
Internal Question paper analysis is done in which, each question is mapped with a specific CO. The CO percentage score (representing the maximum extent to which the CO can be attained) is computed based on percentage of the number of students attained base marks out of the number of students attempted the question. It is made sure that all the COs are covered in two internal examinations. Assignments and quizzes also cover the entire COs. The CO percentage score is computed same as above and is assigned to each question based on assignment and quiz question paper analysis done in prior. CO percentage scores for Internals are computed by taking the weighted average of scores computed for mid-term examinations, assignments and quizzes.
Since the Semester End Examination (SEE) is conducted by the Osmania University, there is no local control the question paper. However, University Question Paper analysis is being done to check whether all the COs are addressed. CO percentage scores for Semester End Examination (SEE) is also computed as above and is assigned to all the COs covered in the university question paper analysis.
Finally, the overall CO percentage score is computed by taking the weighted average of Internal I, Internal II and Semester End Exanimations. This score is finally converted to CO attainment rubric based on the following table.
Attainment of the POs & the PSOs
For each course, the course outcomes are mapped with POs and PSOs in mapping table in a scale of 0-3. The PO/PSO attainments are calculated for a course from the weighted average of the CO attainments multiplied by the CO-PO mapping weight of that course. The PO/PSO attainments are averaged over all the courses of a batch to get the final attainments of the POs/PSOs.
The Department Assessment Committee is responsible to facilitate and monitor the application of OBE framework in their respective academic programs.