Sample calculation to implement Outcome-Based Education (OBE) model at your institution

Outcome-Based Education

The major components of Outcome Based Education(OBE) are Course Outcome(CO) and Program Outcome(PO). Based on how well these two parts are defined and evaluated, OBE attainment is measured.

What are COs?

COs are the statements of knowledge/ skills/ abilities that students are expected to know, understand and perform as a result from their learning experiences in each course.

Why Is It Important to Have A Well Written CO?

A well written CO facilitates lecturers in measuring the achievement of the CO at the end of the semester. It also helps the lecturers in designing suitable delivery and assessment methods to achieve the designed CO.

Defining Course Outcome (CO) by using SMART methodology

CO can be defined and verified by using SMART principle as given below. The SMART methodology is widely use and here is an example from Univeristy of Toronto on using SMART principle to define COs.

Specific They must provide description of precise behaviour and situation it will be performed. And must be concrete, focused and detailed
Measurable The performance of the objective must be observed and measured
Achievable The objective must be achieved by using reasonable amount of effort
Realistic They must be appropriate for the student and the situation
Time-bound Must be clearly stated with a time limit for accomplishing objective

Calculating Course Outcome(CO)

Calculating Course Outcomes (CO) involves calculations from the marks obtained by the students in their internal exams, university exams and internal assessment metrices such as quiz, seminar, presentation, mini project, assignment etc.,

The indirect method represents a part of Program Outcome is purely survey oriented, so the calculations are based on data and surveys collected from the Current passing out students, Stakeholders, Alumni, Survey from placement officers etc.,

Things to be considered for Calculating CO attainment

  • Every internal assessment metrices must be mapped to their corresponding CO’s


Quiz CO2
Presentation CO3
Seminar CO4
Group Mini Project


  • While defining question paper for exams, questions must be chosen based on their corresponding CO’s weightage and must be mapped to their CO’s. This helps us to calculate the performance of a student for a CO
Test performance - Outcome- Based Education (OBE)
Test performance – Outcome- Based Education (OBE)

Calculating CO level for internal and external exams

As discussed above, the internal exam questions must be mapped to their CO’s, this help us to list the marks obtained by students for CO in the below image.

RUBRICS helps us to define the threshold through which level of attainment of a CO’s are calculated.

Rubrics are a simple way to set up some grading criteria through which level of attainment is calculated by using some predefined values.

Rubrics example used in sample calculation is given below


                     50% OF STUDENT ABOVE 50%      –    1 (LOW)

60% OF STUDENT ABOVE 50%      –   2 (MEDIUM)

                     70% OF STUDENT ABOVE 50%       –   3 (HIGH)

The Threshold value is the Minimum pass percentage for each CO in a subject

Step 1: Calculating CO level for internal and external exams

The marks obtained the students for each CO in an exam (internals and university) are listed out as shown in the below figure based on the weightage allocated (max mark CO wise) for the CO’s in the exam. Level of CO attainment is based on the percentage of students above the threshold percentage.

Sample OBE calculation 1
Sample OBE calculation for Course Outcome (CO) measurement

For example: In the above table to calculate the level of CO1 for Test 1, the marks scored by 4 students are listed CO-wise and their max mark is specified. Since 50 is the pass percentage threshold and rubrics are set for 50%, by calculating number of students above threshold (only 2 out of 4 which is 50%) the level is defined as 1(low) as specified in the rubrics

Step 2: Calculating Final CO attainment for the subject

Based on the level of CO obtained for internal and external from the above method the final CO attainment is calculated. The level of CO of each test are listed in the below format.

Internal exams and assessments
C101 TEST1 TEST2 MODELS INT Sum of internal UNIV
CO1 1 3 3 2.33 3
CO2 3 3 3 3 3
CO3 3 3 3 3 3
CO4 3 3 3 3 3
CO5 3 3 3 3 3

What are POs?

Programme Outcomes (PO) are the knowledge, skills, and abilities students should possess upon graduation, they are the central organising feature of student learning. Program Outcomes (PO) can only be achieved and demonstrated through the integration of course components and Course Outcomes (CO).

Characteristics of Program Outcome (PO)

To effectively define your PO statement check them whether they satisfy following characters

  • Must define the scope and depth of the program
  • Should focus on the end-point of the program
  • Identify what typically students will know and be able to do on graduation
  • Should be measurable, realistic and achievable within the context and timeframe
  • Must be realised through component courses over the extent of the program
  • They should be demonstrated through course assessment, particularly in final year courses, and especially through capstones.

As per OBE, two methods are used for calculating and obtaining Program  Outcomes and they are

  • Direct method.
  • Indirect method.

What are CO/PO matrix?

For measure PO in direct method a CO/PO matrix is used to measure PO. The CO are linked to the PO using the CO vs PO matrix as stated in Course Syllabus blueprint. When designing the CO, lecturers of each course map their CO to the appropriate PO to ensure that all PO are delivered throughout the study.

Defining CO weightage for a PO in CO/PO matrix, the weightage scale can be of any format (1-10, 1-100) but by using the scale 1-3 helps us to simplify our calculations

Where  1represents Low

2 represents Medium

3 represents High

CO1 1 2 3 1 3 2
CO2 1 1 2 1 1
CO3 3 2 2 3 3
CO4 2 2 1 2 3
CO5 2 1 1 3 3 3

Calculating PO attainment for direct method

The PO attainment is calculated by using the predefined CO/PO matrix and the value of Final CO attainment for the subject

The PO attainment is calculated by using the formula

PO attainment = Avg, of CO’s of a PO /3    X   Final CO attainment for the subject

For Example, if you want to calculate the PO attainment value for PO1 in the below table


PO attainment for PO1 =  (Avg. of CO’s for PO1 / 3)   X   2.97

PO attainment for PO1 = 2.97


Subject Code                                                                  C102




CO1 3 2 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 2 2 2 2
CO2 3 2 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 3 2 3
CO3 3 2 3 2 2 2 0 0 0 2 2 3 2
CO4 3 2 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 2 2 2 3
CO5 3 3 2 2 1 3 0 0 0 2 2 2 0
C102 3.00 2.20 2.25 2.00 1.60 2.60 0 0 0 2.00 2.20 2.20 2.50


2.97 2.18 2.22 1.98 1.58 2.57 0 0 0 1.98 2.18 2.18 2.48

Indirect Method Calculation

This method is purely survey oriented, So the calculations are based on data and surveys collected from the following

  • Current Passing out students
  • Stakeholders
  • Alumni
  • Survey from placement officers,

The questions in the survey sheet should represent the PO’s All these survey needs to be a quantified one (1, 2, 3) and they must be based on predefined levels like Rubrics defined for direct calculation. Sample rubrics for indirect calculation.


         60% People are giving above 3   –    1 (LOW)
         70% People are giving above 3   –    2 (MEDIUM)
         80% People are giving above 3   –    3 (HIGH)

These levels of attainment are then listed out according to their category in the below format for calculating the indirect PO attainment

Sample OBE calculation 2
Sample OBE calculation 2

The indirect program attainment is calculated by using the formula

Indirect program attainment = Sum of levels of attainment of a PO / 3

For Example, to calculate indirect program attainment for PO1

PO1 attainment = 3+3+3 / 3

PO1 attainment = 3

Calculating Final PO Attainment

Final PO attainment comprises of both Direct method and Indirect method hence the found calculated value (PO attainment) are listed out corresponding to their CO. And summing up them provides the PO attainment based on the weightage allocated as shown below.

Sample OBE calculation 3
Sample OBE calculation 3

Similarly PO attainment is measure for all subjects and the cumulative PO is calculate. The results from PO calculation are further used for Graduate Attribute (GA) and Program Educational Objectives (PEO) using respective matrices.


Myklassroom can help your institution to measure various Outcomes using its OBE module. To know more on how to effectively implement OBE and reduce your workload, please get in touch with a Myklassroom representative now.

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