Outcome-based Education

Putting emphasis on the achievement of intended learning outcomes by students has become a worldwide trend in higher education. In Hong Kong, the University Grants Committee (UGC) has also started to advocate the adoption of this approach in teaching and learning in local universities. PolyU is cognizant of this global movement, and as early as in 2004, has proactively pledged in the Academic Development Plan to the UGC to implement the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) in our full-time undergraduate programmes starting from 2005.

Much progress has been made since then. Basic elements of OBE such as the articulation of intended learning outcomes, mapping of subjects to programme outcomes, alignment of teaching and assessment strategies with learning outcomes, have all been achieved in substantive ways.Principles of OBE continue to underpin the design of our 4-year undergraduate programmes.

PolyU’s OBE is exemplary in the following ways:

Please visit our Outcome-Based Education website for more details.

Outcome-based education at PolyU being recognized

PolyU has pledged itself to developing students with professional competence and attributes necessary for the knowledge-based society in the 21st century. PolyU adopts outcome-based education as an institutional strategy to further enhance and assure the quality of our programmes and outcomes.

In PolyU's Strategic plan, it lists the desired graduate attributes expected of PolyU's graduates at undergraduate level, and these attributes were articulated into institutional student learning outcomes. As a tradition, all PolyU programmes have clearly specified in their Definitive Programme Documents the programme aims and objective, taking into consideration the University’s overarching teaching and learning objectives for the award level, professional accreditation requirements, as well as the needs and expectations of the industry and society. Thus, the foundation for an outcome-based education had been laid much earlier than 2004 when PolyU launched the Curriculum Revision to move towards outcome-based education formally. Since 2004, PolyU has taken various actions to address the four focuses of our outcome-based education model.

At the same time, we have introduced changes at the system level to enable and sustain institution-wide impact. A series of measures have been put in place to help realize this important strategic move of the University, including:

Outcome-based education has been implemented at PolyU over 15 years. Its development has reached a mature and stable stage. All departments and units will continue this development and the achievement of better teaching and learning outcomes.

In response to UGC’s increasing emphasis on the outcome-based approach to student learning, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) hosted a Symposium on Outcome-based Approach to Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education in 2005. More than 200 educators of the local higher education sector were attracted to the Symposium.

The outcome-based approach to teaching, learning and assessment is making a significant impact on the curriculum of higher education in the world. PolyU is cognizant of this international trend and has proactively taken a major and strategic initiative since early 2004 to re-orientate its curricula to this outcome-based approach.

At the one-day Symposium, PolyU speakers talked on the strategies for implementing outcome-based education at the University. Other speakers, including Dr David Baume, Higher Education Consultant from the UK and Dr Mary Allen, Consultant in Assessment & Accreditation in Higher Education from the US, also shared their experiences in related areas. Prof. Leung gave remarks on the challenges and way forward of outcome-based education at the concluding plenary session.

Also, PolyU is proud to be recognized for our efforts. Prof. Alan Lau Kin-tak, Associate Dean (Industrial Relations) of the Faculty of Engineering, was honoured with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education at the Global LearnTech Congress 2014, in recognition of his achievements in outcome-based education through integration of research and industrial activities. We see it as an important indicator of the quality of our teaching and research.