ON MY OWN
Should college edu-cation in the Philippines be outcome-based? I believe that to some ex-tent we are already into OBE or Outcomes-Based Edu-cation especially in the technical courses. Some college educators argue that OBE is already practiced in the form of competency-based lear-ning and performance-based standard.
When educators plan curriculums or teachers plan lessons for their classes, they usually start by clarifying the purpo-ses. They usually ask these questions: a) What do I want the students to learn? b) Why do I want them to learn it? c) How can I best help students learn it? d) How will I know what they have learnt?
In Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), tea-chers would ask: What do I want my students to do after my teaching that they could not 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?
Another way of descri-bing OBE is to compare it with the traditional teaching.
In recent years greater attention is being paid to evaluate the outcomes of education to account for the returns of investments made in education (particu-larly public education). These increasing calls for accountability were a major reason for the rapid spread of various forms of outcome-based education in countries such as USA, UK and Australia during 1980 and 1990s. Likewise in Singapore, the recent deve-lopment in the educational reforms towards know-ledge economy and higher order economic efficiency call for quality and accoun-tability in education.
But in the Philippines, Outcomes-Based Edu-cation has become a focal point for critics of educational reform. Cri-tics claim that this re-form is a copy-cat of competency-based education. Both competency-based and outcomes-based are skills-oriented in nature. How-ever, OBE goes for the question: What behavior change is expected from the students with this OBE framework?
In order to understand and to come up with the answer, it is necessary to understand what Outcome-Based Education is and the syllabi that navigate the OBE frame-work.
Sociologist William Spady, the father of OBE, said that everybody stands to gain a lot from OBE. Unlike previous learning strategies where a student undergoes assessment to see how much s/he has absorbed the lessons, OBE is more concerned with how successful the student is in achieving what needs to be accomplished in terms of skills and strategies. This OBE directs teachers to develop a syllabus of which we can refer this to the Commission on Higher Education Handbook on Typology, Outcomes-based Education, and Institutional Sustainability Assessment. This Handbook contains comprehensive information on the new quality assurance mechanism. Each academic degree program should state the program’s focus which in turn describes what the graduate of that program can know, do and be. This focus should clearly show in the different course syllabi.
The expected change can be achieved if teachers replace teaching objectives with learning outcomes indicated in the syllabus. While objectives are from the teacher perspective, outcomes are from that of the students.
To sum up, in OBE all students can learn and succeed but not on the same day in the same way.