Journey Towards Best Practice in Outcomes-based Education and Assessment: Ifugao State University

Joseph P. Riley, Diosdado M. Aquino, Alice Brawner, and Karen Puguon

In keeping with Philippine Commission for Higher Education (CHED) directives, Ifugao State University has continued efforts to help faculty enhance instruction and assessment through OBE approaches to curriculum planning. This paper reports on Ifugao State University’s on-going journey toward Best Practice in Outcomes-based education.

A needs assessment was conducted to ascertain faculty prior knowledge about OBE related terms and constructs. Course syllabi were reviewed using qualitative and quantitative analysis. Quantitative analysis employed an OBE specific rubric, developed at IFSU, which set out criteria and standards based on published CHED Guidelines. The rubric assessed outcomes, along four standards; Benchmark, Milestone 1, Milestone 2 and Best Practice. Qualitative analysis consisted of two reviews of each syllabus. The first was a summative review with requested changes noted on the syllabus. The second was a formative review with detailed explanations and reasoning behind suggested changes. A “critical friends” approach was used.

The review of the syllabi and analysis of the needs assessment indicated that the faculty were attaining Milestones 2 and 3 in designing learner outcomes but were scoring at Benchmark 1 in Teaching/Learning Activities and Assessment Tasks. Many individual examples of Best Practice were found in the reviewed syllabi. These were employed as examples in the follow up workshops. A heavy reliance on verbal/ direct teaching strategies was noted across colleges. Expected content specific teaching strategies such as experimenting and problem solving in the sciences failed to show up in the quantitative analysis of the teaching strategies listed in course syllabi.

Judging by qualitative and quantitative reviews of the syllabi these workshops were successful in providing participants with the skills needed to redesign course objectives into student learning outcomes.

This evaluative report provides an in-depth look at Ifugao State University’s journey toward best practice. These efforts are shared with the hope of learning from others further along in the journey and hopefully benefitting those who might be in earlier stages.