Outcome-Based Education (OBE)

How to practice OBTL?

The School of Humanities and Social Science has made progress in the following aspects:

  1. Development of Intended Learning Outcomes for Proposed Undergraduate Major
    An ad-hoc committee of faculty of the two divisions of the School identified and drafted the SHSS intended learning outcomes
  2. Involvement of Faculty Members
    In the fall of 2007, the School OBE representative gave two presentations to faculty on OBE practice in Hong Kong, and one OBE presentation to the HSS 3-3-4 Transition Committee and the HSS Major Task Force.

    The School approved the draft HSS ILOs at the School Board meeting in April 2008.

  3. Feedback from Stakeholders
    A student focus group meeting on OBE was held in April 2008 and the participants gave feedback on both ABC-LIVE and the School’s intended learning outcomes for the proposed undergraduate major.
  4. SHSS OBE Consultant Visits
    A local OBE consultant was engaged during the spring of 2008, and he gave two presentations to the HSS faculty regarding the rationale and implementation of OBE and encouraged the teaching staff to take ownership of this approach in order to raise the quality of teaching and learning and satisfy the requirements of the QAC audit.
  5. Review Current Programs and Courses
    To achieve integration of the OBE approach, current HSS programs and courses were mapped through a study of course syllabi and individual discussions with all HSS faculty.
  6. OBTL at Course Level
    To act to practice OBE/OBTL, we should first construct Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) that concern what students are able to do by the end of the course and indicate how we will assess the extent to which they can reflect or apply the knowledge. In lieu of teacher-declared objectives, ILOs are specifically identified by observable and assessable “verbs.” Nevertheless, what is changed is not only the wording in course syllabi, but the philosophy embedded in the process of teaching. With ILOs spelled out with transparent verbs, teaching shifts from transmitting known theories and facts to facilitating students’ actively achieving learning outcomes.

School of Humanities & Social Science: Tentative List of Knowledge-Based and Generic Intended Learning Outcomes for H&SS Major Program Students

Knowledge-Based Outcomes and Their Methods of Assessment

  1. Skills appropriate to an advanced level of knowledge of Chinese history, culture, society, politics and economy, placed in a global context, including
    1. the ability to critically analyze significant social phenomena and to interpret important events related to China and the world, and
    2. the ability to act in Chinese society with cultural sensitivity.

    Assessment methods: Annual test of majors of China-related knowledge and cultural understanding, including empirical knowledge and responses to scenarios.

  2. Skills appropriate to employment in sectors that especially require knowledge of China and Chinese cultural adroitness, i.e. government and non-government organizations, education and business.Assessment methods: Self-assessment from a checklist of employment-related skills at beginning and end of program; an annual survey of graduates’ employers.

Generic Outcomes and Their Methods of Assessment

  1. High-level written communication skills applicable to papers and reports.
    Assessment methods:

    Papers for courses required in majors assessed by instructors; reports required of participants in co-curricular activities, assessed by faculty coordinators;
    contributions to publications of the HKUST China Studies Society, assessed by editors; honors thesis, assessed by thesis committee.

  2. Strong oral communication skills applicable to presentation and argumentation.
    Assessment methods:

    Oral presentation of papers in courses, assessed by instructors; reports among co-curriculum participants, assessed by faculty coordinators; thesis oral defense, assessed by thesis committee.

  3. Independent work and teamwork skills, especially the ability to carry out advanced research, individually and as part of a team, and to coordinate team member activities to realize specific objectives.
    Assessment methods:

    Course and thesis-based individual and team research assignments assessed by instructors and faculty supervisors; team-based co-curricular activities assessed by faculty coordinators; team-based organization of secondary school summer programs for prospective majors, assessed by faculty advisors.

  4. Effective citizenship skills, i.e. the ability to understand key societal issues, impart an interest in such issues among others, and lead in community activities.
    Assessment methods:

    Annual self-assessment of students’ understanding of societal issues; a report of students’ co-curricular activities, annual School of H&SS-sponsored survey of graduates to determine their participation in and leadership of community activities.

In order to assure an appropriately high level of teaching and learning quality and conform to the University’s principles of outcome-based education, the School of Humanities and Social Science will especially concentrate on gradually enhancing the number of existing and new courses with a research and writing component.

The Division of Humanities and Division of Social Science will seek to inculcate in major, minor and a portion of general education students a high-order of critical thinking about respective cultural and social questions.