OBE pioneer lauds Mapúa for leadership in OBE implementation in Philippine higher education

Internationally recognized pioneer of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), Dr. William Spady, praised Mapúa Institute of Technology and its leaders for their openness to learn and implement OBE saying that Mapúa is in a leadership role in implementing OBE in higher education. 

"This is a unique circumstance in my experience with this concept in the world because higher education institutions are driving this reform rather than K-12 schools which is the emphasis in the United States," he said. 

Last April 21, Dr. Spady personally gave a lecture on what direction OBE is heading in the future in the Philippines. The presentation entitled “Which version of OBE is best for the Philippines?" introduced participants to ideas, models, and possibilities that will "fundamentally expand their views of leadership, learning and education".

The OBE system, which Mapúa formally implemented in 2006, is a learner-centered approach requiring students to validate their knowledge through measurable outputs. Hence, students do things more than simply know things. The system serves as the organizing principle of the Institute’s academic and administrative endeavors– befitting of a school that envisions itself to become a global center of excellence.

According to Dr. Spady, most countries and most institutions do not very well understand the concept of OBE because of the many varied ways people view the concept. He added that with the lecture, Mapúa will be able to distinguish which version to go with OBE. 

"What I want to do is to challenge people, and invite people to think beyond the courses they're teaching now, simply the programs they have now. How could those be expanded, enriched, or developed in some way that allows for more authentic student learning or demonstration?" Dr. Spady asked. 

Mapúa president Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea explained that "the very spirit of OBE is to continually increase the level of attainment of the student outcomes." 

"This means that as years go by, the level of attainment of the outcomes will be higher than what it is today. In this way, we are able to measure in some ways the attributes of our graduates and then get a feedback on how we can further improve the process for the learning environment in order for them to attain those attributes,” said Dr. Vea. 

Dr. Spady gave a Skype lecture on transformational OBE and learner empowerment at the 3rd OBE Conference: Think Outcomes, last January 2015. His book Outcomes-Based Education: Critical Issues and Answers, serves as the major resource guiding Mapúa’s intentions to implement the transformational approach to student learning in its engineering and other programs. The book includes a special contribution by Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy, Mapúa’s dean of School of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering, who also serves as one of the Philippines’ key OBE advocates.