To OBE or not to OBE?
Outcomes Based Education
No wonder educationist's are promoting Outcomes Based Education. By adopting OBE we have at least changed the end point by defining what we hope the students might be able to do at the end of their academic programmes. This is better than at present where a student's failure to advance to the next year because they were unable to guess half as much as half the knowledge that the examiner expected them to know -I sound like Bilbo Baggins at his farewell speech to the folk of Hobbiton.
But how do you assess OUTCOMES based education?
In the strict sense you get the student to keep doing the work until you are really sure that they are competent and then you go to the next task, otherwise there is no real marking/assessment. So at the end of the year the students and/or parents and their bursary providers will get reports confirming that they achieved competencies for X, Y and Z subject areas. Possibly we can wrapped it up in a neat computer-generated certificate complete with scanned signatures of everyone important (or thinks they are important) on Campus and then politely send it attached to an automated email just before XMAS as a gesture of individual attention. I wonder how our government subsidies and University administrators would respond to a system like this? Each students will have to repeat each task several times over until they get the absolute competencies OBE requires. Roll on eLearning and Learning Management Systems- silicon chips are way better at repetitive tasks than assemblages of carbon-based molecules!