IDUKKI: Outcome-based education (OBE) is the new buzzword in the higher education sector. With UGC and NAAC recommending a shift to OBE style from the traditional learning system, universities and higher education institutions across the country are in a race against time and other hurdles to shift to the OBE mode.
Marian College (Autonomous), Kuttikkanam is one of the pioneering institutes in the state where efforts to implement OBE in all earnestness were launched in 2016 when the college was granted autonomy.
The journey of the college in the last five years to implement OBE in various departments has been chronicled in a multimedia journal titled, “Outcome-Based Education: Experiments of a Higher Education Institution”. The journal which can serve as a guiding document for other institutions will be released by vice president M Venkaiah Naidu in Kochi on January 3.
“We have made some honest efforts to implement the OBE system in its true spirit. It was a great learning experience for everyone involved. Considering the great paucity of empirical literature on OBE, we thought it is appropriate to collate our experience,” said Fr Roy Abraham P, Principal of Marian College. The journal is published in print, digital and audio formats.
Discussions on Outcome Based Education became serious in India’s academic circles after India became a provisional signatory in the ‘Washington Accord’ of 2007. Concerned about the brain drain caused by the exodus of engineering graduates to other countries, the human resources ministry decided to define the outcomes of engineering programmes offered by various universities in the country. In 2014, India became a permanent member of Washington Accord. In 2017, NAAC revised its matrices of assessment with more focus on outcome-based curriculum development. The New Educational Policy (NEP 2020) is expected to overhaul the higher education system with OBE as the focus.
Binu Thomas, IQAC coordinator of the college, said the journey of the college in the OBE path was not at all easy. “Our first priority was to develop a clear idea on programme outcomes, course outcomes and programme specific outcomes. We formed an IQAC team to study OBE and they had a series of consultations with engineering colleges that had already implemented the system. We had regular discussions with foreign collaborating universities too. A series of meetings with all stakeholders and seminars in which faculty members attended were also organized,” he said. In April, 2018, the college took the first major step by organizing a three-day residential workshop on OBE for all faculty members.
The stellar efforts of the college have already come to the notice of leading academicians in the country. Prof NV Varghese, vice-chancellor of National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, who wrote a forward for the book notes, “The book is an enduring testimony of the college to the cause of education, its unflinching determination to battle all odds during the implementation and the success that ensued. It will certainly inspire many academicians to make significant efforts to implement OBE”.
(PIC Caption: Marian College campus, Kuttikanam)