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Top Mapúa, MCL execs, faculty meet in their first OBE confab

Mapúa and MCL are among the few schools in the country that have shifted to OBE, with Mapúa being the first academic institution in the Philippines to fully do so.

Administration officials and faculty members of Mapúa Institute of Technology and Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL) will meet in the afternoon of January 23 for a conference on the outcomes-based education (OBE) system, a learner-centered approach to education.

Representatives from the two schools will share their best practices in course assessment and evaluation as part of their efforts to practice the OBE.

“There is nothing like the sharing of experiences, of best practices, to lift the entire faculty in its effort to practice outcomes-based education. One can also view the annual OBE conference as a vehicle for continuous improvement,” said Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Mapúa and MCL’s president and chief executive officer.

“We are expecting that both the presenters and the listeners will learn from the ensuing discussions. We are expecting that the proceedings will seed the creation of a body of knowledge of Mapúa and MCL that will accumulate over the years and become a valuable intangible resource for our faculty members,” he added.

The Institute and MCL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mapúa, are among the few schools in the country that have shifted to OBE, with Mapúa being the first academic institution in the Philippines to fully do so.

The shift is in line with both schools’ commitment to produce graduates that are globally competitive.

Under the OBE system, each academic program has a unique list of student outcomes, or learners’ competencies, that students must be able to demonstrate successfully after graduation. The outcomes are based on industry needs, among others.

Course assessment and evaluation are indispensible part of the OBE system since these are used to determine if the outcomes are achieved. According to Dr. Bonifacio T. Doma, Mapúa’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs, the degree of achievement of student outcomes must be evaluated to further improve the academic program.

At MCL, executive vice president and chief operating officer Engr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo assured that like its parent school, MCL faithfully complies with the principles and true meaning of OBE. He said this is what makes MCL stand out and different from other colleges and universities.

The school has also invested in its facilities and faculty and administrators for the efficient implementation of the OBE system as well as to ensure continuous quality improvement.

“We practice the outcomes-based education approach so that our graduates stand out from the rest because they meet the entry-level competencies required by local and global companies,” Engr. Maestrecampo said.

OBE vanguard

The conference, dubbed as “OBE 2013: Best Practices in Course Assessment and Evaluation,” is happening during the schools’ respective Foundation Week. It is one of the highlights of their celebrations.

During the 1 p.m. conference, Mapúa and MCL executives and faculty will be in their campuses in Intramuros, Manila and Cabuyao, Laguna, respectively, and will confer through video conference.

Dean Rex Aurelius C. Robielos of Mapúa’s School of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IE-EMG) said the seminar is basically sharing the methodology of one faculty member with another.

Dean Robielos, the lead organizer of the festivities at the 88th Foundation Week of Mapúa, is one of the presenters in the OBE 2013 conference along with Dr. Doma.

The seminar is taking place amid changes in the typology of the Philippine tertiary education, which is being recast to attain globally acceptable learning outcomes. Mapúa and MCL have this global outlook on education, which explains the adoption of the OBE system for both schools and with the Institute seeking and successfully receiving the ABET seal.

“Arguably, Mapúa, with 10 of its programs accredited by ABET under an outcomes-based approach, is a recognized vanguard in this movement. It started the journey some years ago and has gone through at least one continuous improvement cycle. Starting on a clean slate, MCL has also embraced an outcomes-based approach from the get-go and has evidence to show that it has reaped benefits from the use of the approach,” Dr. Vea said.

Not resting on their laurels, the two schools are continuously undertaking measures, including the OBE 2013 conference, to improve and strengthen their systems. In fact, MCL is also planning to apply for the accreditation of its programs by ABET, a widely recognized US-based accrediting body.

The two schools will hold discussions on OBE-related topics yearly, with the 2013 session as their very first conference on OBE.

Read the special supplement on Mapúa’s 88th Foundation Week released on The Philippine Star on January 23, 2013.

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