During the past year, the QAAC worked with the colleges to enable each program to develop the following standards, which are a pre-requisite for any assessment (for a definition and examples of each term, please refer to the QAAC’s Handbook):
- Program’s mission
- List the program’s stakeholders
- Program’s Educational Objectives PEOs
- Program’s Intended Learning Outcomes PILOs
- Course Intended Learning Outcomes CILOs
The academic year 2009/2010 witnessed for the first time, the adoption and dissemination of the assessment model shown below in the following. This model has been adopted across all programs within the university and links the university outcomes with the university level outcomes. It also ensures involvement of the stakeholders and alignment of the programs’ objectives with the university mission. An overview of the conceptual model for outcome-based assessment at UOB is shown in this image:
It is important to note that this model follows international and local best practice in academic assessment. The framework is aligned with local i.e. QQA requirements as well as most if not all accreditation agencies i.e. ABET, AACSB, etc. However, it also adds the ingredient of UILOs to ensure homogeneity among UOB graduate outcomes.
· University-wide Program Intended Learning Outcomes (UILOs) statements
To ensure educational quality and curricular coherence, the UOB identified University Intended Learning Outcomes UILOs which all students will have achieved upon graduating from the UOB. These learning outcomes define the measurable expectations of student learning (knowledge, skills and competencies) that are demonstrated by graduates from all program levels and all academic disciplines.
The UILOs provide guidance to program and faculty in defining their Program Intended Learning Outcomes PILOs and Course Intended Learning Outcomes CILOs which define the knowledge, skill and abilities of students earning a degree in a specific discipline.
The following are the six University Intended Learning Outcomes UILOs that will be introduced gradually across all programs.
- Communication: Communicate effectively (oral and written) in a clear, well-organized manner to convey ideas with an intended audience in a variety of academic and professional settings.
- Technological Competence: Demonstrate competence in the use of information technology broad enough to meet personal, academic and professional needs.
- Critical Thinking and Analysis, Knowledge, and Skills: Possess a knowledge base in general education areas and demonstrate and apply critical and creative thinking, and specific knowledge and skills in a major discipline or professional program of study.
- Information Literacy: Demonstrate the ability to apply research skills to locate, retrieve and evaluate information effectively and use it ethically.
- Responsibility and Integrity: Act purposefully, ethically, respectfully and responsibly in interactions with staff, faculty, peers and the institution as a whole.
- Life-Long Learning: Strive for excellence in life-long learning by planning for the future, participating in continuing education or professional development activities and seeking formal and informal opportunities to enrich lives.
· Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) Guidelines
a) PEOs are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years after graduation.
b) PEOs are based on the needs of the program’s constituencies and mission.
c) PEOs should be stated in terms easily understandable to an external observer.
d) PEOs should concentrate on the ultimate goals of the program and not on the skills and knowledge gained by the student.
e) PEOs should be (3-6) objectives identified for the graduates.
· Program Intended Learning Outcomes (PILOs) Guidelines
a) PILOs statements should be distinctive and specific to the program and should be framed in terms of the program and not individual courses.
b) PILOs should be (3-11) for each program, when in doubt fewer is better.
c) PILOs must be mapped to PEOs and UILOs.
d) PILOs statements should describe the abilities, knowledge, skills, values and attitudes expected of the students after completion of the program (specify the minimum skills and abilities of successful students).
e) PILOs statement should use action verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy with an emphasis on higher-order thinking skills.
f) PILOs should be written in language that the students (and those outside the field) are able to understand.
g) PILOs should be agreed by program faculty and staff.
h) PILOs statements should be stated such that the outcome can be measured by more than one assessment method; the statement should not impose restrictions on the type or number of assessment methods (measurable).
i) PILOs should focus on student and learner not on the instructor or teacher, i.e. student centered.
j) PILOs should be mapped to the PEOs and the UILOs.
k)PILOs are to have a format similarly as: #1: To (action verb) (object) (target) (modifiers) or #2: The (target) (action verb) (modifiers) (object).
· Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) Guidelines
a) CILOs should not exceed 10 unless necessary and these will be the core knowledge & skills intended for this course.
b) CILOs must be mapped to PILOs that they aim to achieve.
c) CILOs should not be mapped with a verb lower than the PILOs level in the taxonomy.
d) Students should be involved in updating and understanding the CILOs.
e) Any updates to the CILOs should be approved by the department and should be clearly listed in the course outline and explained to the students in the class.
f) CILOs should not describe course content in details, also should not describe all course requirement for example: mandatory, attendance and deadline for the assignments.