Outcomes Based Education (OBE)

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On 13th June 2014, India National Board of Accreditation (NBA) has become the permanent signatory member of the Washington Accord Accreditation and laid down a set of specific guidelines for the institutes in India to achieve Outcome Based Education (OBE). 

This involves framing cohesive Program Education Objectives (PEOs), Program Outcomes (POs), Course Outcomes (COs) and ensuring assessment and attainment of these outcomes. 


Outcome-Based Education (OBE) is a student-centric teaching and learning methodology in which the course delivery, assessments are planned to achieve stated objectives and outcomes. It focuses on measuring student performance i.e., outcomes at different levels.

There is no single specified style of teaching or assessment in OBE; instead, classes, opportunities, and assessments should all help students achieve the specified outcomes.

By the end of the educational experience, each student should have achieved the goal. 

Some important aspects of the Outcome Based Education 

1. Course is defined as a theory, practical or theory cum practical subject studied in a semester. For Eg. Engineering Mathematics

2. Course Outcome (CO) Course outcomes are statements that describe significant and essential learning that learners have achieved, and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a course. Generally three or more course outcomes may be specified for each course based on its weightage.

3. Programme is defined as the specialization or discipline of a Degree. It is the interconnected arrangement of courses, co-curricular and extracurricular activities to accomplish predetermined objectives leading to the awarding of a degree. For Example: B.E., Marine Engineering

4. Programme Outcomes (POs) Program outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students are expected to be able to do by the time of graduation. POs are expected to be aligned closely with Graduate Attributes.

5. Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) The Programme Educational Objectives of a program are the statements that describe the expected achievements of graduates in their career, and also in particular, what the graduates are expected to perform and achieve during the first few years after graduation.

6. Programme Specific Outcomes (PSO) Programme Specific Outcomes are what the students should be able to do at the time of graduation with reference to a specific discipline. Usually there are two to four PSOs for a programme.

7. Topic Learning Outcomes (TLOs): A Top learning outcome is a clear statement of what a learner is expected to be able to do, know about and/or value at the completion of a topic/unit of study, and how well they should be expected to achieve those outcomes. It states both the substance of learning and how its attainment is to be demonstrated.

8. Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs): Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) were defined in terms of minimum discipline knowledge, discipline-specific skills and professional capabilities including attitudes and professional values that are expected of a graduate from a specified level of program in a specified discipline area.


9. Graduate Attributes (GA):

The 12 numbers graduate attributes are exemplars of the attributes expected of a graduate from an accredited programme.

 Knowledge levels for assessment of Outcomes based on Blooms Taxonomy 

Remembering – Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long-term memory

Understanding – Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through

interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining

Applying – Using information in new ways; carrying out or using a procedure or process through

executing or implementing

Analyzing – Breaking material into constituent parts; determining how the parts relate to one

another and to an overall structure or purpose through differentiating, organizing, and attributing

Evaluating – Making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and critiquing;

defending concepts and ideas

Creating – Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements

The 12 Graduate Attributes in Outcome Based Education

1. Engineering knowledge: Apply the knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering fundamentals, and an engineering specialization for the solution of complex engineering problems.

2. Problem analysis: Identify, formulate, research literature, and analyse complex engineering problems reaching substantiated conclusions using first principles of mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering sciences.

3. Design/development of solutions: Design solutions for complex engineering problems and design system components or processes that meet the specified needs with appropriate consideration for public health and safety, and cultural, societal, and environmental considerations.

4. Conduct investigations of complex problems: The problems:

that cannot be solved by straightforward application of knowledge, theories and techniques applicable to the engineering discipline.

that may not have a unique solution. For example, a design problem can be solved in many ways and lead to multiple possible solutions.

that require consideration of appropriate constraints/requirements not explicitly given in the problem statement. (Like: cost, power requirement, durability, product life, etc.)

which need to be defined (modeled) within appropriate mathematical framework.

that often require use of modern computational concepts and tools.

5. Modern tool usage: Create, select, and apply appropriate techniques, resources, and modern engineering and IT tools, including prediction and modeling to complex engineering activities, with an understanding of the limitations

6. The engineer and society: Apply reasoning informed by the contextual knowledge to assess societal, health, safety, legal, and cultural issues and the consequent responsibilities relevant to the professional engineering practice

7. Environment and sustainability: Understand the impact of the professional engineering solutions in societal and environmental contexts, and demonstrate the knowledge of, and need for sustainable development.

8. Ethics: Apply ethical principles and commit to professional ethics and responsibilities and norms of the engineering practice.

9. Individual and team work: Function effectively as an individual, and as a member or leader in diverse teams, and in multidisciplinary settings.

10. Communication: Communicate effectively on complex engineering activities with the engineering community and with the society at large, such as, being able to comprehend and write effective reports and design documentation, make effective presentations, and give and receive clear instructions.

11. Project management and finance: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the engineering and management principles and apply these to one’s own work, as a member and leader in a team, to manage projects and in multidisciplinary environments.

12. Life-long learning: Recognize the need for, and have the preparation and ability to engage in independent and life-long learning in the broadest context of technological change
Institutions adopting and implementing OBE through manual processes typically face the following challenges:
1. Involving all the faculties in appropriate roles
2. Faculty time and resources involved in documentation
3. Non-uniform process practiced in establishing curricula and calculation of attainments at various outcome levels
4. Inadequacy of mapping between CO and PO
5. Overwhelming volume of data across batches
6. Complex data analysis to isolate problem areas
7. Generating the Self-Assessment Report (SAR) in a timely manner 

An innovative software platform, Cyborg-OBE is designed to address all the above issues.

Curriculum management system of Cyborg-OBE. 

Curriculum Management System 

Mainly focuses on curriculum design enabling faculties to create appropriate lesson plan, frame COs and mapping COs to POs and frame question banks. The curriculum delivery and assessment methods followed by the institutions will be intact and the software platform is compatible with all the delivery and assessment methods followed by the institutions and generates reports for students’ attainment, Course Outcome (CO) attainment, Program Outcome (PO) attainment and Program Education Objective (PEO). 

Cyborg OBE platform helps institutionalizing OBE practices, achieving transparency, optimizing data inputs, standardizing computation of attainments, isolating areas for improvements, trends from large historical data from batches, and generating Self-Assessment Report (SAR) in a timely manner. 



OBE follows a continuous improvement model and Cyborg-OBE is also built on this continuous improvement model as shown in figure below. 

Continuous Improvement Model

The inputs to the Cyborg-OBE are the vision and mission of the institution along with the department, stakeholders’ expectations and needs of accreditation. The outputs from Cyborg-OBE platform are various attainment reports, students’ success reports and performance indicators and exhaustive reports to the key sections of NBA SAR. The subsequent sections describe the main features of Cyborg-OBE.

Curriculum Design

The curriculum in Cyborg-OBE is created by the Head of the Department (HOD) feeding PEOs, POs and mapping between PEOs and POs. Afterwards, faculties are allocated specific subjects. The faculties will then login and create a lesson plan and frame the course outcomes (COs) and perform the mappings to the program outcomes (POs), frame Topic Level Outcomes (TLOs) and map TLOs to COs, frame competencies and performance indicators.

Delivery Planning
Faculties while framing COs specify the delivery method used to deliver each CO to the students and also specify the appropriate Bloom’s level for that particular CO. This process helps to maintain consistency in delivering the curriculum. 

Assessment Planning
Once the curriculum is delivered to the students and assessments are be conducted. This requires assessment planning and use of rubrics indicating how students are assessed for a particular course. Different methods can be used to assess students like class tests, final exam, quiz, assignments, mini projects, seminars etc. Faculties will prepare question paper indicating CO, Bloom’s level, performance indicator for each question. 

Attainment Calculation

The parameters required for the calculation of attainment of outcomes are shown in figure below.

Attainment parameters 

TEE – Term End Evaluation (Semester),
CIE – Continuous Internal Evaluation (Tests)

For attainment calculation direct and indirect approaches are used. The direct attainment comprises of results from class tests and final exam. Indirect attainment consists of various surveys like CO exit survey, PO survey, alumni and employer survey etc. Final attainment is calculated by considering a percentage weightage of both direct and indirect attainment.

For the calculation of attainments two methods are considered as shown in figure below. 

Approaches of Attainment Calculations   

Method 1 is used when student wise question wise marks are available, typically suitable for autonomous colleges, private/deemed universities.

Method 2 is used in affiliated colleges where the student wise question wise marks are not available. In this case, CGPA or final exam marks will be used with class test marks to compute attainments.

Survey and Feedback

Survey and Feedback module facilitates the institute to conduct various survey like CO exit survey, PO survey, alumni and employer survey etc. Institutes can customize the survey templates and conduct their own surveys. Cyborg-OBE will calculate indirect attainments based on the inputs from the survey questionnaires. 


1. Process institutionalization Cyborg-OBE software maintains the PEO, PO, CO and TLO and their respective mappings and attainment calculations of each and every program of the institute/university for every curriculum on per year basis.

2. Creation of NBA SAR report Cyborg-OBE software generates NBA SAR report in a single click!                                  

3. Assistance for data collation for SAR
• Cyborg-OBE platform helps in preparation of SAR by providing actual NBA template
• Provides standard content in administrative sections of SAR
• Provides complete OBE mappings and attainment analysis for SAR
• Provides feedback mechanism through surveys and publish the data in SAR

4. Continuous reviews and refinement Cyborg-OBE platform provides freedom and scope for continuous review and refinement of PEO, PO, CO and TLO for every curriculum on per year basis. This saves lot of manual entry for facilities.


A survey was conducted to measure the impact of Cyborg-OBE and was administered to 100 faculties of the institute. The survey was conducted two times i.e. before and after installation of Cyborg-OBE. The survey results revealed that Cyborg-OBE benefitted the institute in the following areas:

Efficiency: Cyborg-OBE helped in achieving the error free attainment calculations as it eliminates the manual calculation using spreadsheets.

Speed: Cyborg-OBE generates various reports such as CO-PO, PO-PEO mappings, program articulation matrix, lesson plan, question paper analysis, various attainment reports, survey reports in a click of button. This saves lot of time for HOD and faculties. Hence eliminates the manual work.

Productivity: Cyborg-OBE helps to increase the productivity of the faculties as the manual work is eliminated and data is stored and retrieved in a safe and secure manner. Faculties can focus effectively on their other responsibilities.

Security: The data of the institution remains safe and secure in Cyborg-OBE as the software platform provides access to the various stakeholders in a level based, privilege based manner.

Process Institutionalization: Cyborg-OBE helps the institution to achieve process institutionalization of common practices across different programs by bringing all of them under one umbrella.