Outcome-Based Education means clearly focusing and organizing everything in an educational system around what is essential for all students to be able to do successfully at the end of their learning experiences. This means starting with a clear picture of what is important for students to be able to do, then organizing curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make sure this learning ultimately happens.
Outcome-based systems build everything on a clearly defined framework of exit outcomes. Curriculum, instructional strategies, assessments, and performance standards are developed and implemented to facilitate key outcomes. In OBE, curriculum, instruction, and assessment should be viewed as flexible and alterable means for accomplishing clearly defined learning “ends.” In contrast, traditional systems already have a largely pre-defined curriculum structure with an assessment and credential-ling system in place. They usually are not structured around clearly defined outcomesexpected of all students. By large curriculum and assessment systems are treated as ends in themselves.
Let’s assume that any educational organization is made up of two broad parts. One is its operational system – the curricular and instructional elements that relate directly to the teaching and learning process. The other is its support system – the administrative, logistical, and resource components that enable the teaching and learning process to exist and function. From this systems perspective, an outcome-based system in one in which exit outcomes and the four principles influence and “drive” all of the key structural and functional components of the operational system is composed of four key parts of structures:
• A standards and accountability structure that determines how achievement and performance standards are defined and how graduation credit is awarded. (This structure includes assessment, grading, report cards, transcripts, credits, and diplomas.)
• A curriculum content and articulation structure that determines how the system’s formal learning experiences for students are defined, organized, and linked. (This structure includes programs, courses of study, subject areas, and courses.)
• An instructional process and technology structure that determines what tools and techniques the system uses to engage students in learning the curriculum. (This includes the organization of instruction and the technologies for carrying it out.)
• An eligibility, promotion, and assignment structure that determines which students will work with which teachers and students, on what, when, and under which physical arrangements. (This structure contains everything related to student grouping, scheduling, placement, promotion, and advancement through the curriculum.)
Outcomes assessment is a process which gauges a student's knowledge and skills and provides for continual teaching and learning improvement. The focus is on providing a meaningful and relevant student learning experience. The process is generally correlated to an institutional mission.