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The move to outcome-based education has been one of the most important trends in health-profession education in recent years. OBE is a student cantered learning philosophy. Focuses on empirically measuring student performance, which are called outcomes. OBE implementations often incorporate a many progressive pedagogical models and ideas, such as 1. Reform Mathematics. 2. Block Scheduling. 3. Project-based learning. 4. Whole language reading.

OBE in itself does not specify or require any particular style of teaching or learning. Instead, it requires that students demonstrate that they have learned the required skills and content. However in practice,

In outcome-based learning, all school programs and instructional efforts are designed to have produced specific, lasting results in students by the time they leave school. Outcome-based education is a model of education that rejects the traditional focus on what the school provides to students, in favor of making students demonstrate that they "know and are able to do" whatever the required outcomes are.

OBE reforms emphasize setting clear standards for observable, measurable outcomes. The key features which may be used to judge if a system has implemented an outcomes-based education systems are: 1. Creation of a curriculum framework that outlines specific, measurable outcomes. 2. A commitment not only to provide an opportunity of education, but to require learning outcomes for advancement.

3. Standard based assessment that determines whether students have achieved the stated standard. 4. A commitment that all students of all groups will ultimately reach the same minimum standards.

The emphasis in an OBE education system is on measured outcomes rather than "inputs, Outcomes may include a range of skills and knowledge. "Student can run 50 meters in less than one minute" instead of "Student enjoys physical education class.

Each educational agency is responsible for setting its own outcomes. Under the OBE model, education agencies may specify any outcome (skills and knowledge), but not inputs (field trips, arrangement of the school day, teaching styles). Some popular models of outcomes include the National Science Education Standards.


Spady (1994) describes learning outcomes as clear learning results that we want students to demonstrate at the end of significant learning experiences. Spadys OBE Paradigm (1994) is based on three premises and four principles.

All students can learn and succeed but not on the same day and not in the same way. Successful learning promotes even more successful learning. Schools control the conditions that affect successful learning.


of focus Design down High expectations Expanded opportunities

Explanation Focus on what want learners be able to do successfully. Application to practice Help learners develop competencies Enable predetermined significant outcomes Clarify short & long term learning intentions Focus assessments on significant outcomes

Explanation Begin curriculum design with a clear definition of the significant learning that learners are to achieve by the end of their formal education Application to practice Develop systematic education curricula Trace back from desired end results Identity learning building blocks Link planning, teaching & assessment decisions to significant learner outcomes


Establish high, challenging performance standards Engage deeply with issues are learning

Application to practice


Do not learn same thing in same way in same time Provide multiple learning opportunities matching learners needs with teaching techniques

Application to practice

Content Based Learning Versus Outcomes Based Learning

Content Based Learning Outcome Based Learning

Passive students

Active learners

Assessment process exam & grade driven

Continuous assessment

Content based/broken into subjects

Integration knowledge, learning relevant/ connected real life situations

Content Based Learning Versus Outcomes Based Learning

Content Based Learning Outcome Based Learning

Textbook/worksheet focused & teacher centered

Learner centered & educator/ facilitator use group/ teamwork

See syllabus as rigid & non negotiable

Learning programmes seen as guides that allow educators to be innovative & creative in designing programmes/ activities Learners take responsibility for their learning, learners motivated by constant feedback/ affirmation of worth

Teachers/trainers responsible for learning - motivated by personality of teacher

Content Based Learning Versus Outcomes Based Learning

Content Based Learning Outcome Based Learning

Emphasis what teacher hopes to achieve Content placed in rigid time frames
Stay in single learning institution until complete Previous knowledge & experience in learning field ignored Each time attends whole course

Emphasis outcomes what learner becomes & understands Flexible time frames - learners work at own pace
Learners can gather credits different institutions until achieve Qualification Recognition of prior learning: after pre-assessment, learners credited outcomes demonstrated or transfer credits elsewhere


ATTITUDES professionalism

The inner circle represents tasks undertaken or work done by the learner: doing the right thing. The middle circle represents the approach taken to the tasks. The middle circle emphasizes the necessity for knowing not only what to do but why and how to do it: doing the thing right.

The outer circle represents the

personal attributes and professionalism of the learner: the

right person doing it.


The focus of education has shifted from the educator to learner however this shift requires change within the educational system in order to facilitate learning. Establishing an OBE system for education is the best way for a particular learner to reach the desired outcomes. The role of the educator is to enable and encourage all learners to achieve essential outcomes while the learner actively participates in and contributes towards the learning process. OBE also demands a commitment to continuing professional development and lifelong learning.


Outcome-based education has much to offer institutions training health professionals. The approach is based on sound educational principles and provides a robust framework for students to acquire the necessary fitness to practice.