Basics of Outcome-Based Education (OBE)

Outcome-Based Education

Outcome-Based Education (OBE) is a student-centric learning model that helps teachers to plan the course delivery and assessment with the end point in mind. Let me provide an example to make it simpler.  For example: A candidate is required to satisfy a particular set of criteria (Program outcome) at the end of a program, say Mechanical Engineering.  This is intimated to the curriculum development team at institutions before they create the curriculum for each program and course.  So the teacher keeps in mind the end point (outcomes) when he/she designs the curriculum (while planning lessons, designing assignment & assessments, lecturing and other activities).  Everything a teacher does in the classroom should ultimately lead the student toward the outcomes of the course.

Different institutions have a different way of going about the OBE process and are at different stage of implementation in India. Even though as per the Washington accord the concept of Outcome-Based education is valid for Engineering courses, a lot of arts & Science colleges have also taken up the implementation of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) based on accreditation guidelines. A few parameters that you must be aware in order to measure Outcome-Based Education are

  • Graduate Attributes (GA)
  • Program Educational Objectives (PEO)
  • Program Outcomes (PO) / Program Specific Outcomes (PSO)
  • Course Outcome (CO)

Graduate Attributes (GA)

As per the Washington Accord, “The graduate attributes are exemplars of the attributes expected of a graduate from an accredited programme.”  The Graduate Attributes are defined by the National Board of accreditation (NBA).

Program Educational Objectives (PEO)

PEOs are broad statements that describe the career and professional achievements that the program is preparing the graduates to achieve within the first few years after graduation. PEOs should be consistent with the mission of the Institution. PEO’s can be measure by a PO-PEO matrix. The PEO’s should evolve through constant feedback from alumni, students, industry, management etc,.

Program Outcomes (PO) / Program Specific Outcomes (PSO)

Program outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students are expected to be able to do by the time of graduation. POs are expected to be aligned closely with Graduate Attributes.

Course Outcomes (CO)

COs are major domain specific outcomes written using action verbs which are specific, measurable and can be demonstrated by students on completion of the course.

Once all the outcomes are defined, let’s start with the simplest implementation process to measure outcomes as per Outcome-based Education (OBE) at your institution.

Step 1: Defining Outcomes

Define PEO, PO, PSO and CO. This is the most important part of the Outcome-Based Education model. Course Outcomes (CO) are defined for all courses and Program Outcomes (PO)/Program Specific Outcomes (PSO) are measured for all programs in the institution. Course Outcome remains the base of the hierarchy of outcomes and is the tools that can be used to measure student performance in each course.

Defining Course Outcome (CO) and Program Outcome (PO)
Defining Course Outcome (CO) and Program Outcome (PO)

Step 2: Measure CO attainment

The Course Outcome (CO) is measured through the performance of students in  the various assessments tools for the particular course. Each evaluation tool is mapped to a particular Course outcome (CO) or an action verb in bloom’s taxonomy and further each verb is mapped to a particular CO.  A sample Course Outcome (CO) measurement is given below.

Internal Assessment metrics

The various internal assessment tools for different subjects are decided and mapped to various action verbs so that they help to measure the performance of students. A sample mapping of internal evaluation metrics to the measured verb is given below.

Outcome-Based Education
Sample Evaluation modules for Outcome-Based Education (OBE)

Any number of performance metrics can be defined and measured by splitting various courses in to course groups as given below.

Internal assessment - Outcome-Based Education (OBE)
Internal assessment in Myklassroom – Outcome-Based Education (OBE)

Internal assessment tests and Final exams

As per  OBE, each question in the internal tests and final exams allows the teacher to measure a particular CO/Action Verb of student performance and hence the performance of students in each question must be monitored to measure the attainment of CO. Myklassroom lets you analyse the student performance for each question in the assessment tests.

Test performance - Outcome- Based Education (OBE)
Question-wise test performance – Outcome- Based Education (OBE)


Mark entry page - Myklassroom
Mark entry page – Myklassroom

Once the marks of each students in internal and final tests and other internal evaluation metrics are entered the CO attainment can be measured for each class.

The CO attainment should be defined by the institution based on the performance of its students in the past. The CO attainment levels can be defined in a number of ways, a sample allotment is given below.

OBE attainment levels
OBE attainment levels

The CO attainment is then calculated for each class. And also the performance of each student for individual action verb can also be calculated to measure the skill set of each student.

OBE student reports - Myklassroom
OBE student reports – Myklassroom


Step 3: Measure PO attainment

Once the Course Outcome is measured, the program outcome can be measured by using a CO-PO matrix. This helps the institution to measure the Program Outcome through the performance of students in each course. The weightage of mapping of each CO with the relevant PO can be specified.  Once the weightage and mapping of the CO-PO is over the program outcome can be evaluated.

Defining CO-PO matrix
Defining CO-PO matrix

The mapping factor for each CO and PO can also be defined in a three point scale, where 3 means high relevance, 2 means medium relevance and 1 means low relevance.

To know more about how to calculate outcome attainment, you can click on the sample calculation post here.

Step 4: Programme Educational Objectives (PEO) and Graduate Attribute (GA) attainment

Once the Program Outcome (PO) is calculated the Program Educational Objective (PEO) and Graduate Attribute (GA) performance can be calculated using a PO-PEO matrix and PO-GA matrix. A few more data such as alumni & employer feedback etc,. is required to measure the PEO.

OBE implementation can be challenging during the implementation phase and be taxing to maintain the records. Myklassroom can help you simplify the implementation process and reduce the hassle of maintaining data and generating reports regarding OBE. Click below to know more

Click here to know more about how Myklassroom can help your institution to implement Outcome-Based Education