Outcome Based Curriculum
Outcome Based Education (OBE), which is rapidly gaining attention worldwide, is most well known as a systematic approach to curriculum reform in the school sector in countries such as the United States, Australia, and South Africa. In higher education, its most significant application has been in universities in the European Union as part of the Bologna Process designed to create free movement in European Higher Education Area.
Because of the increasing interest in student learning outcomes in recent years, BNU has decided to promote the adaptation of outcome-based approaches in all level of study whether the processes and deployment of resources are effective in enabling students to achieve the intended student learning outcomes . Clear understanding and articulation of intended learning outcomes facilitates the design of an effective curriculum and appropriate assessments to measure achievement, and to plan the learning process for individual students.
Traditional methods of developing curriculum includes the transfer of past courses and topics taught in previous years or decades. These courses included in the curriculum were relevant when they were first taught but there is no attempt to evaluate their relevance and there is no justification for their inclusion in the current curriculum except for the historical perspective of the courses being traditional courses for the curriculum of such Engineering disciplines This approach at developing curriculum for engineering education is rapid, easy and less time consuming but it does not lead to the production of graduates who are relevant and current in the state of the are in the work place. It does not allow for the addition of relevant course which can better equip the graduates for the world of work. The previous curriculum focused on ensuring that the students had sufficient information, it focused on what the student were expected to know upon graduation but the advent of the internet made such skill irrelevant as most of the information can be sourced from the internet. This resulted in the production of graduates who needed to be retrained before the can be engaged in the industry.
The four basic principles of OBE are:
Clarity of focus
This means that everything teachers do must be clearly focused on what they want students to know, understand and be able to do. In other words, teachers should focus on helping students to develop the knowledge, skills and personalities that will enable them to achieve the intended outcomes that have been clearly articulated.
It means that the curriculum design must start with a clear definition of the intended outcomes that students are to achieve by the end of the program. Once this has been done, all instructional decisions are then made to ensure achieve this desired end result.
It means that teachers should establish high, challenging standards of performance in order to encourage students to engage deeply in what they are learning. Helping students to achieve high standards is linked very closely with the idea that successful learning promotes more successful learning.
Teachers must strive to provide expanded opportunities for all students. This principle is based on the idea that not all learners can learn the same thing in the same way and in the same time. However, most students can achieve high standards if they are given appropriate opportunities.
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