Title

A Novel Outcome-Based Educational Model and its Effect on Student Learning, Curriculum Development, and Assessment

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Journal of Information Technology Education: Research

Publication Date

1-1-2003

Abstract

Introduction We live in a rapidly changing world driven by technology and economy necessitating the production of qualified and well-prepared professionals. Employers are demanding that university graduates not only have the knowledge, but the appropriate skills to be effective and productive in the workplace. In order to adapt to these challenges, universities worldwide are thinking about how to redesign their academic models. A recent US national panel report calls for a dramatic reorganization of undergraduate education to ensure that all college students receive not just access to college, but an education of lasting value. The report also recommends colleges help students become "intentional" life-long learners, and to create new assessments that require students to apply their learning to the real world (Greater Expectation, 2002). Zayed University (ZU), a laptop university (each student and faculty owns a laptop) based in the United Arab Emirates, has adopted a new educational concept in the region, which is an Outcome-Based learning approach. This new Academic Program Model (APM) is designed to continuously improve the curriculum and provide students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The life-long learning outcomes, being the kernel of the courses, provide focus to the curriculum in the APM. Furthermore, all courses are designed to clearly show the experiences that students draw upon achieving a Learning Outcome. The ZU OBE learning approach is framed by three sets of learning outcomes. Two are course embedded (general education and major learning outcomes), and the third (the ZU learning outcomes (ZULO)) is a set of higher intellectual outcomes. To fulfill their ZULO requirements, students compile evidence of their achievement in electronic portfolios, which are assessed by a faculty panels. The APM is driven by five critical components: the outcome based curriculum, the e-portfolios, the learning communities, the use of information technology, and the support of the center for teaching and learning assessment. Universities in the USA and worldwide are taking a critical look at their educational systems. A recent US national panel report calls for a dramatic reorganization of undergraduate education to ensure that all college aspirants receive not just access to college, but an education of lasting value. The report also recommends colleges help students become "intentional" life-long learners, and to create new assessments that require students to apply their learning to the real world (Greater Expectation, 2002). Furthermore, universities in the US and worldwide are complaining about the problem of grade inflation (Rosovsky & Hartley, 2002). A number of academic institutions in the US have moved to an outcome-based education framework to move away from the grade point average driven academic framework. In North America, accreditations institutions (such as North Central Association) are asking academic institutions to present a method to assess students learning outcomes in the general education courses. In Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri, assessment of the student learning outcomes in the Information Literacy course is done by giving them a pre-test and a post-test. During the first day of the course, students are given a multiple-choice test about computer literacy. The same test is given to the students during the last week of the course as part of their final examination. The difference between the two grades is used as a measure of their progress. A new academic institution in the gulf region has tackled the above issues by adopting an academic framework that is based on the outcome-based education while still using the grade point average. This academic model is a hybrid approach that accommodates learning outcomes to measure the learning process and uses grades to accommodate the classic academic system. We anticipate that this model will insure that grade inflation is under control and that students are achieving the learning outcomes to become life-long learners (Bouslama, Lansari, Al-Rawi, & Abonamah, 2002). "¦

ISSN

1539-3585

Publisher

Informing Science Institute

Volume

2

First Page

203

Last Page

214

Disciplines

Computer Sciences | Education

Indexed in Scopus

no

Open Access

no

Open Access Type

Bronze: This publication is openly available on the publisher’s website but without an open license

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