OBE-dizing the Curriculum: A Student Perspective

As the University unfolds a new year of possible reinforcement of some institutional reforms, we come to look at what has transpired during the first six months of the academic year which was characterized by a number of changes—the shifting of the academic calendar and the OBEdizing of the curriculum which are all in response to globalization and internationalization of higher education.

While everyone seems to welcome the shifting of the academic calendar, one thing remains worth a concern is the shifting to the Outcomes-Based Education approach in the teaching-learning process. Well, ideally, the approach is a great challenge laid before higher educational institutions in the country such as the University as it encourages raising of educational standards. However, on a sad note, there are lapses and inconsistencies that seem arising from its implementation in the institution.

The integration of the OBE approach needs a similar overhaul in the established educational system, policies and standards such as in the grading system and the criteria for an outputs-based program in the institution to really meet the demands of the growing trend of globalization and internationalization. In the University, the grading system which is a 70-30 computation needs to be adjusted to align with the principles of OBE. The OBE curriculum puts high regard to the outcomes of the learning and teaching which, traditionally, are confined within the four-walled setting. The grading system, on the other side, places emphasis on the day-by-day performance and not on the outcome of the process. Personally, this is not a quality practice of enforcing excellence among the students. It’s like teaching them to take their subjects for granted. It’s just like saying, “okay attend my class and you’ll definitely pass” whether you have learned or I have taught nothing.

Second point, the curricula of all the programs has to be reexamined and revised to really integrate much more outcomes-based courses than in the mere teaching-learning process. Customarily, the system is already accustomed to the common practice that learning primarily comes from discussions inside the classroom. You know, the classroom is turning into a feeding-frenzy aquarium. In passing the level, you have to feed yourself with all bookish information either supplied by baseless discussions or bias knowledge.

I lose no hope that someday, extra-curricular activities will find itself a credit to the curricula of all programs and be integrated as part of the subjects. With these sort of lapses and inconsistencies, there is one alternative to serve as supporting block for the implementation of OBE. This is found in the extra-curricular activities. I’m not promoting extra-curricular activities over academic excellence; but, take note, in internationalizing higher education, it involves the multi-cultural integration and multi-faceted approaches in the teaching-learning process. And these varied approaches can be channeled through extra-curricular activities. Let the classroom setting serve as molding ground for acquainting the students with theoretical knowledge at even at the least teacher-learner interaction. In fact, the growing trend nowadays which is online learning has breached the educational system of advanced countries.

“…lessen the teacher-learner engagement in the classroom, and strengthen the process on promoting learner-output paradigm.”

The point is, lessen the teacher-learner engagement in the classroom, and strengthen the process on promoting learner-output paradigm. In others words, let not attendance serve as major criteria in deciding the capability of the student. See beyond the product of the person’s imagination, creativity, vision, innovative mind, and the result of these—the OUTPUT—in papers, in projects, and in contributions. At the end, what we wish for our students are the development of their multi-competencies and not just for them to pass any national board examinations.#

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