Outcomes Assessment (OA)

– Assessing Programme Intended Learning Outcomes(PILOs) – a Process


1. Background

  • Under Outcome-based Teaching and Learning (OBTL), learning outcomes at courses/activities, programmes and Graduate Attributes (GAs) are aligned through curriculum mappings, in which the Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs) and Assessment Methods (AMs) match the Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs); i.e. constructive alignment (Figure 1).
  • Therefore, assessments at course/activity, programme and institutional levels are not isolated, but rather, integrated.
  • The University’s QA Mechanism principally relies on the assessments at course or activity level to provide evidence in ascertaining how well the Programme Outcomes and Graduate Attributes have been achieved.

Figure 1. OBTL, Constructive Alignment & QA Mechanism



2. Definition and purpose

  • Outcomes Assessment (OA) can be described as a systematic and ongoing method of gathering, analysing and using information from various sources about an education programme to ascertain how well the programme and institutional learning outcomes have been attained by students in that programme.
  • Definition of OA: Assessment of students’ achievement of the programme intended learning outcomes, and by constructive alignment, the Graduate Attributes (GAs) (Figure 2).
  • This continuing exercise can help the University, Faculties and Programmes identify and solve key issues in teaching and learning in the respective programmes, so as to continuously enhance the overall quality of the programmes to improve the learning and development of our students.

Figure 2. Curriculum Maps

  • For programmes that participate in ECI for Programme Outcomes Assessment, all core course(s) from Year 2 to 4 are selected to use the same GA Rubric for evaluation.
  • Evidence on student achievements of GAs are gathered from their performance in both course assignments and University Academic Profile (UAP) (to be elaborated later), for triangulation.
  • This approach can help track students’ learning progress across years and ascertain their achievement of Graduate Attributes (GAs) when this exercise is conducted over the years.