Outcomes-Based Education guru Dr. Gloria Rogers gives an exclusive seminar-workshop at Mapúa Institute of Technology.
An international expert on learner-centered Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) has lauded Mapúa Institute of Technology, the premier technological school in the Philippines, for its unyielding commitment to further strengthen its OBE system to provide the best quality education for thousands of its students.
Dr. Gloria Rogers, the ABET Foundation’s associate executive director, was all praises for the Institute, its officials, faculty and non-teaching staff who attended her exclusive seminar-workshop at the Institute dubbed as “Outcomes Based Assessment: Moving From Good to Great,” which was held from January 27 to 28.
“One of the things that I’m impressed in is [Mapúa’s] degree of commitment. The fact that your president (Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea) was here [in the seminar-workshop]… I have been to 20 countries, I have been to a hundred of institutions, I don’t think there’s ever been a [school] president who sits in on this. The fact that he was here demonstrates to me an institutional commitment to this process,” Dr. Rogers said in an interview on the first day of her exclusive workshop-seminar at Mapúa’s Makati City campus.
“The degree of work that has already been done is just phenomenal in terms of the amount of work that people have been willing to invest in this process,” added Dr. Rogers, who reviewed the Institute’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and OBE processes for the two-day event.
Dr. Rogers, who has been giving seminars on continuous quality improvement and institutional effectiveness for over 20 years in 28 countries, flew to the country for the first time to give a series of lectures on OBE. Mapúa and the Philippine Technological Council (PTC), the umbrella organization of all professional engineering societies in the country, co-sponsored her trip to the Philippines.
Academic and administrative officers from Mapúa said Dr. Rogers’ seminar-workshop has contributed to the Institute’s efforts to continuously improve its systems for it to advance further and achieve its goal of becoming a global center of excellence in education.
“We believe that we always have to try to do things today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. Stasis is not an option if a school were to be globally competitive,” said Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, president and chief executive officer of Mapúa.
Dr. Bonifacio T. Doma, the Institute’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs, said in an earlier interview that as the system of US-based ABET, a leading international accrediting agency, continuously evolves, Mapúa should also catch up with how ABET and the US are “moving for improvements, along with OBE.”
OBE is an educational system that focuses on student learning with emphasis on what knowledge and skills a student needs to have to become successful professionals.
As how Dr. Rogers put it, OBE ensures that the students will learn “what we say we want them to learn.”
Exclusive seminar at Mapúa
Dr. Rogers also discussed OBE during PTC’s engineering summit, but her seminar-workshop at Mapúa was more “in-depth,” with parts of her discussion touching on the Institute’s CQI and OBE processes.
On the first day of the workshop-seminar, she discussed the principles of OBE and other processes that would help improve student learning.
She, meantime, talked about Mapúa’s system and steps on how to become a program evaluator on the second day of the event.
“We’re going to look more at what Mapúa is currently doing and what they can do now to take it to the next level. And also, some of the faculty are interested in knowing how they can become program evaluators for accreditation so I’ll talk a little bit about that process,” Dr. Rogers said.
Dr. Rogers said she is willing to help Mapúa even after the seminar-workshop.
“I’ve already had a couple of them ask me, as they begin to implement [the changes], if they could contact me. I said absolutely, they could. So, I think that’s going to be interesting to see,” she said.
A better education
Unlike in the US, the Philippines is still in the beginning process of implementing the OBE system.
Dr. Rogers said, at this early stage, the Institute can already play a significant role.
“What people want more than anything else are good examples of what people are doing and there aren’t many out there yet because it is so new [in the Philippines]. And I really believe that Mapúa can be the example… [It] can easily become an exemplar for the rest of the country,” Dr. Rogers said.
The 87-year-old Mapúa is the first school in the Philippines to have adopted the OBE. With the adoption of the OBE system, the Institute has also become the first school in the Philippines and East Asia to get an accreditation from ABET for its 10 engineering and computing programs.
Students who are studying in an academic institution that is OBE-centered like Mapúa are ensured of getting a better education, according to Dr. Rogers.
She explained: “Part of this [OBE] process is to align the curricular strategies with not just individual courses but curriculum as a whole, to align those strategies so that the students have the best opportunity to learn, practice, develop and demonstrate confidence related to the outcomes that are important to the institution and the student.”
Dr. Vea, meanwhile, said he is glad that “no less than the ABET’s guru believes in our capabilities and considers us the national leader in OBE.”
“Becoming an exemplar puts us in a position where we can generate a tide that will lift all boats. Hopefully, we can significantly contribute to the improvement in the overall quality of Philippine engineering education and thus to the improvement of the national economy and the lives of our countrymen,” he said.
Outcomes-Based Education guru Dr. Gloria Rogers and the participants from Mapúa Institute of Technology and Malayan Colleges Laguna.