Philippines’ premier engineering and tech school Mapúa champions outcomes-based learning in new modular delivery of program courses
Mapúa University follows through on its commitment to Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) by implementing yet another approach to ensure the attainment of students’ intended academic outcomes through Modular Course Delivery.
The Modular System employs a granular delivery of courses. A module is defined as a component of the main course that can stand alone. Each module has its own design, outcomes, and assessment method. In place of the traditional course delivery, students now take two to three outcomes-based modules in a course per quarter, ensuring attainment of desired knowledge and outcomes.
A Modularized Course ensures learning goals are met by its students before moving on to the next and more advanced topics of a course. This new set-up is learner focused, which enables higher frequency of feedback. With an Outcomes-Based Grading System, modular courses provide students expanded opportunities, or multiple chances to complete the modules and pass their courses.
Understanding the Module System
The new approach offers courses in two to three outcomes-based modules. A three-unit course is equivalent to three course modules, while a two-unit course is equivalent to two course modules. Students will be given ample time to complete each module. For a three-unit course, Module 1 is assigned from weeks 1 to 4 of the quarter, Module 2 from weeks 5 to 8, and Module 3 from weeks 9 to 11. On the other hand, a two-unit course’s Module 1 will be taken from weeks 1 to 6 and Module 2 from weeks 7 to 11. A grade will be given at the end of each four- to six-week module. The final course grade will be determined from the module grade average.
For an unsuccessful module, a student will get an “In Progress” (IP) grade. A student with an IP grade in modules 1 or 2 in a 3-unit course or module 1 in a 2-unit course can do multiple attempts to convert the grade into a passing mark within the quarter using completion modules in Cardinal EDGE. Assuming a student passes at least 1 module, IP grades in other modules can further be converted the following term, with no additional cost to the student.
Features and additional benefits
The new setup boasts the following features: (1) it follows the principles of outcomes-based learning where each module ensures attainment of desired outcomes; (2) OBE grading system allows for expanded opportunities to pass modules within a course; (3) an independent grading system where students will be given a mark based on their performance per module, meaning if a student passes at least one module in a course, he will only need to repeat the modules he failed to pass and not the whole course; (4) the course can be implemented in a one-faculty-per-module or team-teaching mode, allowing specific modules to be taught according to expertise; and (5) it offers time-flexible and self-paced remedial modules, which will be conducted online so students can take them simultaneously with advanced course modules.
Mapúa's OBE approach and extensive digital education has defined the University blended learning delivery for years. This has helped the institution in adapting and innovating with new strategies for teaching and learning. It has also helped in making its full transition to remote learning easier for its educators and students during the pandemic and to share its expertise with other private and public higher education institutions through tie-ups with the country’s Commission on Higher Education (CHED).