The purpose of this “STUDENT LEARNING AND OUTCOME-BASED ASSESSMENT” guide is to provide a general guideline to lecturers on how assessment is to be carried out in the context of an outcome-based curriculum. Emphasis is given to the application of constructive alignment between learning outcome and assessment.
4.1 Transforming Traditional to Outcome-based Assessment: The Paradigm Shift
Traditional assessment practice has the following characteristics:
(a) Assessment is carried out without alignment to learning outcomes
(b) Assessment is in the form of continuous and final examination
(c) Student’s achievement (grade) is based solely on marks obtained
(d) Assessment is more focused on content and cognitive abilities
In the outcome-based assessment practice, the shifts are as follows:
(a) Assessment must be aligned to learning outcome by applying constructive alignment
(b) Assessment must be formative and summative which may differ from continuous
assessment which lacks student feedback to improve learning
(c) Student grading must be based on the learning outcome achieved and may not necessarily
be based on marks accumulated
(d) Assessment should be holistic taking into consideration the three domains of learning
cognitive; psychomotor and affective.
4.2 What are Learning Outcomes?
Learning outcomes (LOs) are the written statements that define the specific objectives or
intentions of a particular learning programme, module or course. LOs describe what a student
should know and should be able to do upon completion of that particular programme, module or course. With LOs, the main goals are the achievements of the learner rather than the intentions of the teacher (Adam, 2004).
Characteristics of learning outcome for a course are
(a) All LOs must be assessed
(b) There should be practically three to five LOs
(c) Each LO must contain only ONE action verb based on learning taxonomy
(d) LOs must be measurable and observable (SMART-Specific, Measurable, Achievable,
Realistic and Timely)
(e) Vague action verb such as Know, Learn, Understand and Appreciate (KLUA) should be