Implementing outcome-based education

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Implementing outcome-based education

Outcome-based education (OBE) is an educational theory which shifts the focus from teaching to learning, by making explicit the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students are expected to learn and be able to demonstrate upon completing a programme or course. HKMU implements an outcome-based approach across all of its programmes and courses.

OBE in practice

The first step in an outcome-based approach involves setting clear and appropriate learning outcomes for any programme, course, or even learning material. Learning outcomes are statements of what students should be able to achieve at the end of the specified programme or course of study. All teaching, learning and assessment activities need to be aligned with these intended learning outcomes. This is known as the principle of constructive alignment.

Writing learning outcomes

The intended learning outcomes for both programmes and courses need to be stated clearly in operational terms using action verbs. The action verb should indicate an outcome that can be demonstrated by the student, e.g. Explain the core theories and concepts in sociology and apply them to the Hong Kong context.

Bloom’s taxonomy, a framework developed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom and colleagues, categorized educational goals on six levels, from simple to complex. The model was further revised in 2001. It remains a popular and useful tool to support teachers in writing learning outcomes and considering the level of teaching and learning activities.


Armstrong, P (2010) ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’, Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching,

Krathwohl, David R (2002) ‘A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview’, Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212–218.