Guide to OBE
Aligning Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment with ILOs
Aligning Teaching with Intended Learning Outcomes
With your intended learning outcomes at hand, you have to plan your teaching and learning strategies to support the attainment of these outcomes. This section will guide you to devise your plan for teaching and learning using an outcome-oriented approach, or in other words, to select teaching and learning methods which align with your intended learning outcomes. It starts with discussing some important questions that you need to take into consideration when selecting your teaching methods. It then takes you through a range of teaching and learning methods, showing typical scenarios of the methods and diagnosing the intended outcomes with which the methods could possibly be aligned.
Designing a Plan for Teaching and Learning - Some Important Considerations
You are recommended to make a plan to illustrate the teaching and learning methods clearly with some indications of when and in what kinds of subjects such methods are going to be employed. Before we go into the specific teaching and learning methods, there are some important considerations when selecting teaching and learning methods. In light of this, three check questions are recommended for facilitating your plan.
Aligning Teaching and Learning Methods with Intended Learning Outcomes
When selecting any teaching and learning method it is obviously important to ensure that the method will enable the students to achieve what are intended as learning outcomes. There are different kinds of methods available. Some of them are more effective in building up subject knowledge while some make more contribution to developing generic skills. For more details on learning outcomes, please see the section Defining Intended Learning Outcomes.
Recommended check question: What outcomes does it promote?
Developing All-Round Students with Professional Competence
The institutional outcome for PolyU is all-round students with professional competence. As explained in the section Defining Intended Learning Outcomes, professional competence involves functioning abilities which are founded on a high level of understanding of academic knowledge and relevant procedural knowledge. Teaching and learning should be able to develop abilities to apply knowledge to solving real-life problems. It is crucial to encompass, in teaching and learning, elements of authenticity such as real-world examples, problems which resemble those in the professional world etc.
Recommended check question: How related is it to real life?
Key Features of the 'Active Classroom'
Additionally, the idea of the 'active classroom', which the PolyU advocates, entails educational concepts and strategies that are relevant to the development of a high level of understanding of academic knowledge and functioning abilities. The four key features of the 'active classroom' are (1) Thinking; (2) Task-Focused; (3) Teamwork; & (4) Transcendence (beyond the normal classroom).
The methods are able to motivate students to think deeply with and about the important concepts and theories in their respective disciplines, and to apply the new understanding and skills in exploring and dealing with real-life problems in their future professions. We need to consider and whether they give students enough space to come up with their own 'burning questions' to which they want answers, and are interested and able to grapple with the questions put to them.
The methods provide students with opportunities to engage themselves frequently in meaningful learning tasks where they are challenged to ask questions, think, discuss, apply and evaluate their new understanding and skills.
The methods require students to work with their peers in teams, both inside and outside the classroom. And the methods can encourage students to become active members of the wider learning community of the real world.
Transcendence (beyond the normal classroom)
The methods encourage students to learn not only through interacting with their teachers and peers in the scheduled face-to-face sessions, but also through interacting with other people in different kinds of out-of-class activities such as technology-enhanced discussions and forums, workplace and/or community-based experiences in workplace, partnership with professional, and international exchanges, etc. The teaching and learning methods should also encourage students to make connections with and appreciate a broader context of learning.
Recommended check question: How active is it?
Check Questions for Teaching and Learning Plan
  • How active is it?
  • How related is it to real life?
  • What outcomes does it promote?
Teaching and Learning Methods
This section explores a total of 13 teaching and learning methods and uses the three check questions to discuss conditions justifying their use. Each method has three core elements: (1) A description of what this method looks like in practice; (2) Examples of how this method can be used; and (3) Review alignment using the 3 recommended check questions. The 13 methods will be presented in this sequence: