Outcomes Based Education Essay


Galileo Galilee once said a man cannot teach a man anything but rather he can only help him find in within himself. This means that you can only go so far to help someone learn and make the right condition for the learner to discover what already known to be true. The principle of outcome based education relates to this passage from Galilee where Outcome-Based Education means clearly focusing and organizing everything in an educational system around what is essential for all students to be able to do successfully at the end of their learning experiences.

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This means starting with a clear picture of what is important for students to be able to do, then organizing the curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make sure this learning ultimately happens” (Spady, 1994:1). In this approach learners may identify what are the things which are important and what is essential for them. It is indeed true that learning may not be significant with someone unless it may reflect the importance of learning in real life and utilize it in different life roles.

OBE has been around for centuries.

The origins of modern outcomes-based education can be traced back to the work of Italian educator Maria Montessori, whose teaching theories shaped the development of Montessori schools the world over. Working in the early 1900s, Montessori believed that instead of setting up arbitrary grading systems, tests, and the like and teaching inputs based on them, education was best measured by encouraging individual student achievement, which can occur at different rates for different students. This method would allow students of different skill levels and abilities to learn at their own individual rates (or outcomes), rather than lumping all students together and measuring them at the same standard at the same point in time. In the local setting, government educational bureau, school administrators and educational gurus are continuously seeking ways and means to upgrade the standards and quality of education in terms of its delivery system and other related components of quality education.

The continuous growth of population, government budgetary allocation for education, and educational political will have been a great factor in the affects the quality of education one can experience. Other than that, some other problems occurred such as: lack of qualified teachers, inadequate classrooms and ineffective programs. These are more evident to public schools here in the country. Recognizant of this reality, the Commission on Higher Education in pursuit of an ongoing paradigm shift to learning competency based standards mandated all Higher Education Institution to incorporate a Quality Policy utilizing an Outcomes Based Education. This policy-standard, which applies to private and public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country, is issued to enhance the quality assurance system of Philippine higher education through learning competency based standards and an outcomes-based system of quality assurance that is differentiated by type of HEI.

CHED’s rationale in implementing this policy is very specific as they believe that this mandate will contribute to building a quality nation capable of transcending the social, political, economic, cultural and ethical issues that constrain the country’s human development, productivity and global competitiveness. The commissions focused in mandating all HEI’s underscores a quality assurance that is rooted in research which suggest that there has been a lack of a critical pool of graduates with the necessary thinking, technical and behavioral competencies are among the factors constraining the re-launching of the Philippine manufacturing sector and the achievement of the full potentials of the service sector. Another important ideas of this policy is that change is dynamic the Philippine educational system should adopt with the ever changing climate of systems that Philippine s has been left behind.

The reality is that in 2015 where ASEAN community will facilitate the free flow of qualified labor in the region and either open up opportunities for graduates of Philippine HEIs or threaten their employment even in this country. The Philippine educational system should move on this suggest that Philippine should keep on track or be left behind. (CMO No. 2 S. of 2011) This mandate from CHED aims to contribute to building a quality nation capable of transcending the social, political, economic, cultural and ethical issues that constrain the country’s human development, productivity and global competitiveness. The fulfillment of this action entails all HEI to offer quality programs that will meet the national and the international standards of programs for the different professions/disciplines. Quality assurance is viewed as an important ingredient in the social development of the population especially the Filipinos out of the poverty condition.

CHED defines quality as the alignment and consistency of the learning environment with the institution’s vision, mission, and goals demonstrated by exceptional learning and service outcomes and the development of a culture of quality. This definition highlights three perspectives of quality. One the quality as fitness for purpose, which is generally used by international bodies for assessment and accreditation, requires the translation of the institution’s vision, mission, and goals into its learning outcomes, programs, and systems. Second quality as exceptional means either being distinctive; exceeding very high standards; or conformance to standards based on a system of comparability using criteria and ratings. And lastly quality underlies CHED’s definition of exceptional; and Quality as “developing a culture of quality” is the transformational dimension of the CHED notion of quality.

Quality assurance utilizing the OBE has been widely argued by educational administrators, though this would impact the educational system of the country where Philippines has been left behind years back by our neighboring ASIAN nations. This paper aims to assess how well the HEI’s administrators’ in Olongapo adapted to the provision of the OBE and the practices of the educators with regards to OBE or are thy well equipped with the knowledge and skills relating to OBE. This issue is very timely and is pressing the education administrators.

It is imminent that this policy is another challenge facing the educational sectors to adopt and practice the quality assurance utilizing the OBE principle. There are several questions that determine the direction of this study. What are the best practices of the HEI’s administrators with regards to OBE as well as theory instructors? How well they adopt and practice quality policy as set forth by the CHED? And their reasons in adopting or implanting this quality policy? An explication of OBE will be dealt with this forgoing study this will also illuminate the performance of the HEIs in Olongapo.

Review of Related Literature

This paper aims to explore the principles of OBE as practiced among the HEI’s in Olongapo. This is intended to explain the principles and how this principle is incorporated in their system. In addition this paper will definitely help teachers and administrators understand the process and practices on OBE among other HEIs in Olongapo which will certainly facilitate other institution to espouse the practices of their counterpart.

The Philippine educational system as observed by the researcher has been through a lot of curricular development. Policies and standards have been laid; OBE is one of the recent development to which it has been advocated by some and critics by many. Where will this process lead the curriculum?

Outcomes based education is a process that involves the restructuring of curriculum, assessment and reporting practices in education to reflect the achievement of high order learning and mastery rather than the accumulation of course credits (Tucker, 2004). According to Tucker the primary aim of OBE is to facilitate desired changes within the learners, by increasing knowledge, developing skills and/or positively influencing attitudes, values and judgment. OBE embodies the idea that the best way to learn is to first determine what needs to be achieved. Once the end goal (product or outcome) has been determined the strategies, processes, techniques, and other ways and means can be put into place to achieve the goal.

The major problem in all curricular frameworks is the outcome or product measurement. Geyser (1999) stated that OBE deals with the product Outcomes are clear learning results that learners have to demonstrate at the end of significant learning experiences: what learners can actually do with what they know and have learned. Outcomes are actions/ performances that embody and reflect learner competence in using content, information, ideas and tools successfully. He further proposed that when learners do important things with what they know they have taken a significant step beyond knowing itself. Vela, Berardinelli & Burrow (1998) reminds us of the importance of accountability mechanisms (learner assessment) that directly reflect student performance and help learners “know what they know”. Thus outcomes describe the results of learning over a period of time – the results of what is learned versus what is taught.

Spady and Marshall (1994:20) an advocate of OBE has explained the meaning and concept of outcomes as: Outcomes are ‘clear, observable demonstrations of student learning that occur after a significant set of learning experiences. They are not values, attitudes, feelings, beliefs, activities, assignments, goals, scores or averages, as many people believe. Typically these demonstrations reflect three things:

• What the student knows
• What the student can actually do with what he or she knows
• The student’s confidence and motivation in carrying out the demonstration.

They further state that outcomes are what learners can actually do with what they know and have learnt. In other words they are the tangible application of what has been learnt. That assists the learners to know themselves. OBE compels educators to use action verbs like describe, explain, design or produce. These action verbs are preferred more than the vague and non-demonstration processes like know, understand, believe or think. It should be noted that since outcomes occur at the end of a learning experience, they represent the ultimate result of the didactic situation.

In general, OBE standards are clearly defined and are known by all learners. This system allows the learners to reach and receive full credit for achieving any performance standard. OBE focuses on increasing students’ learning and ultimate performance abilities to the highest possible level before leaving school. That means that OBE takes an overview of the students’ learning and achievement. In this situation mistakes are treated as inevitable steps towards development and demonstration of high-level performance capabilities. The traditional system takes the opposite approach where testing and permanently grading of learners is very important and emphasizes on rewards learners for assigned work covered in class. Those who are fast and consistent performers get the best grades and records and those who are slower never get the opportunity to catch up because previous mistakes cannot be erased.

Outcome-based methods have been adopted in significant ways in the United States, Australia, South, and Hong Kong to mention a few. Each education agency specifies its own outcomes and its own methods of measuring student achievement according to those outcomes (Goals setting strategies). Though it is claimed the focus is not on “inputs”, OBE generally is used to justify increased funding requirements, increased graduation and testing requirements, and additional preparation, homework, and continuing education time spent by students, parents and teachers in supporting learning as well as the unit cost of training a student. (European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 13, Number 2 2010)

In the Philippine education system, the quality and quality assurance in education has been the major theme from the past decade not only in the Philippines but from the rest of the world. Valisno (2000) in her presentation at the International Conference on the Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Standards, Mechanisms and Mutual Reorganization. She recognized that more and more people are concerned about the products or outputs of universities and colleges, whether societies are getting the real value for their investments in higher education.

Harman(1996) points to the following main concerns on the quality issues that presently dominate the debates on higher education: 1) maintenance and improvement of levels of teaching, learning, research and scholarship; 2) improvement in the quality and adaptability of graduates; 3) how to define and measure quality; 4) whether management approaches of and colleges improve outcomes; 5) the use of benchmarking and performance indicators; and 6)how to convince stakeholders that institutions and systems are doing a competent job in ensuring quality outputs.

Valisno further explained that universities and government agencies just used different terms such as academic standards, standards of degrees and diplomas, student assessment, and accountability. But the main issue also was largely about maintaining academic standards according to some national or international norm, the maintenance and improvement of levels of’ teaching and learning, and how to provide sufficient financial and other resources to achieve quality higher education, As can be observed, many of’ these issues are still significant today, but the new quality debate is centered largely on the achievement of quality outcomes; which necessitates the establishment of appropriate internal quality auditing and quality management processes not only to continuously monitor achievement, and to ensure rising achievement developing but also to determine and implement the quality policy and such as the management of’ quality control and improvement.

The lesson of the past as understood by the researcher could be the driving force of the educational managers of this country to adopt the process of OBE as an educational process which is based on trying to achieve certain specified outcomes in terms of individual student learning. Malan (2000) affirmed that the shift toward OBE is similar to the total quality movement as it reflects the best way for individuals and organizations to get where they are going is first to determine where they want to be then plan backward to determine the best way to get from here to there. Proponents of OBE assume there are many ways to arrive at the same results. OBE is currently favored internationally in countries such as Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and United States.

Qualitative Approach

This paper utilized the phenomological approach in research. This will illuminate the issue of outcomes based education concerning the best practices of the HEIs in Olongapo where the particular actors of the present phenomenon are the HEI administrators’ and the instructors. They will be the locus of the study. Personal perspective and personal interpretation of the subjects will be given importance in illuminating the purpose of this study. This approach is very effective in bringing to frontage the experience and perception of individuals their own perspective of OBE and will therefore be used as a basis to inform, be inform and to give support to the surfacing issue on OBE.

The strength of qualitative research is its ability to provide complex textual descriptions of how people experience a given research issue. It provides information about the human side of an issue – that is, the often contradictory behaviors, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and relationships of individuals (Qualitative Research Methods p.1-2). Qualitative methods are also effective in identifying intangible factors specifically in the light of OBE utilization in some HEI in Olongapo. The data collected in a qualitative study includes more than words; attitudes, feelings, vocal and facial expressions, and other behaviors are also involved.

The data which may consist of interview transcripts, field notes from observations, a wide variety of records and historical documents, and memoranda, are treated to rigorous ongoing analysis. Three processes are blended throughout the study: collection, coding, and analysis of data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967): This approach encourages the kind of flexibility so important to the qualitative researcher who can change a line of inquiry and move in new directions, as more information and a better understanding of what are relevant data are acquired (Blumer, 1999)

All the higher educational institution in Olongapo will be covered by this study namely; CELTECH College, Columban College, Mondrian Aura College, Gordon College and the Lyceum of Subic Bay. The school administrator represented by their president or the vice president for academic affairs together with the instructors of the premier or the flagship program of the institution will be utilized as the respondents of this study.

Data collection and sampling is an important aspect of any type of research study. Inaccurate data collection can impact the results of a study and ultimately lead to invalid results. A purposive sampling technique will be utilized to depict the purpose of this study. According to Cormack (2000) suggests that qualitative researchers use a small selective sample, because of the in-depth nature of the study and the analysis of data required. The HEI’s administrators as well as the instructor are purposively chosen to provide vital information that will shed light to the foregoing study.

An interview will be utilized as the primary data collection technique. Interviewing is widely used in qualitative research. Compared with observation, it is more economical in time. Interviewing is trying to understand what people think through their speech. (www.ssrc.hku.hk/er/qr0204.doc) Prior to gaining consent from participants, letters requesting permission to carry out the study will be sent to the necessary institution. If all permission requests are granted, a letter of invitation will be distributed to all the HEI administrators and instructors of the premier program of the HEI’s inviting them to participate in the study.

The researcher will use open-ended interviews as it allows participants to discuss their opinions, views and experiences fully in detail where as perhaps a interview with closed ended questions may inhibit them to express their full opinions and feelings. With the use of semi-structured interviews the researcher will have prepared a topic guide or a certain amount of questions to be covered with each participant (Polit and Beck (2008). A face to face interview allows the researcher to observe any non-verbal communication but also allows both the interviewer and participant to seek any clarification necessary. The interviews will be audio-taped with permission from the participant to ascertain an accurate account of the interview which can be replayed for analytic purposes and anonymity will be assured during the course of the recording.

A qualitative research interview seeks to cover both a factual and a meaning level, though it is usually more difficult to interview on a meaning level. (Kvale, 1996). Interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a participant’s experiences. The interviewer can pursue in-depth information around the topic. Interviews may be useful as follow-up to certain respondents to questionnaires (McNamara, 1999). A general interview guide approach will be used in this study. This guide approach is intended to ensure that the same general areas of information are collected from each interviewee; this provides more focus than the conversational approach, but still allows a degree of freedom and adaptability in getting the information from the interviewee Participants’ will be reminded of their right to withdraw from the study or terminate the interview at any time before commencing the session.

The researcher also vows to ensure the participants anonymity and privacy during the conduct of interview. The purpose of data analysis is to organize, provide structure to, and elicit meaning from research data (Polit and beck 2008). Data analysis will be ongoing in conjunction with data collection as Polit and Hunglar (1999) state as interviews are conducted, gathered data is synthesized, interpreted and communicated to give meaning to it. According to Burns and Grove (1999) qualitative data analysis occurs in three phases: description, analysis and interpretation. The researcher will transcribe the interviews verbatim and analysis of the transcripts will be carried out by the researcher while utilizing Giorgis quality data analyses.

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