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16 May 2017 | Valenzuela City, Metro Manila
Over 400 teaching professionals of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) converged at the AMS Auditorium in the early morning, eagerly anticipating seminar by Dr. William G. Spady, famously known as the “Father of Outcomes Based Education (OBE)”.
Commissioned by OLFU, with its faculty and deans as the exclusive audience, Dr. Spady ignited several “aha” moments amongst the crowd as he presented the basic principles of OBE, and promptly proceeded to unravel misconceptions around it.
Starting out the morning session with the theme, “What OBE Really Means for All of Us: A Blueprint of Essential Elements | Experiencing Paradigm Turbulence While Building an Outcomes-Based Edifice,” Dr. Spady said that, “OBE is a different paradigm from normal education. And that paradigm has changed over time.” It is inevitable, he said, and vital for OBE concepts and practices to keep transforming if it is to remain viable and relevant as human beings, norms, ideas, processes and the world change.
In the morning segment, Dr. Spady also tackled topics such as OBE’s Four Power Principles and the Three Key Premises. One of these premises resonated strongly with the OLFU audience when he declared, “All students can learn and succeed; but not on the same day and not in the same way.” Then, he gave special attention on how to craft effective and impactful outcomes; adding that educators should ideally work for “transformational outcomes” as opposed to “traditional” and “transitional” outcomes.
The afternoon session presented the theme, “Deriving and Assessing Outcomes of Significance: Fasten Your Seatbelts as We Transcend the Numbers Game and Bloom’s Taxonomy”. And fasten their seatbelts the audience did as Dr. Spady broke down the basic concept on Masstery Learning espoused by Benjamin Bloom as early as the 1960’s and largely embraced by educators around the world since then. While Dr. Spady acknowledged its value, he underscored that OBE focuses on Outcomes of Significance, in lieu of fixed-time, structured learning, the bell curve and more. He spoke about a design blueprint for creating Outcomes of Significance and its three dimensions: cognition (one-dimensional), compentence (two-dimensional) and context (three-dimensional; “where the doing really counts”).
Nixing grading by numbers, the OBE creator supports a performance assessment based on the acraonym “FACTS”: Fluency, Accuracy, Challenge, Thoroughness and Style. The sample grading card created much interest as adjectives replaced numbers in the grading process.
Embodying the role as “Creator of OBE”, Dr. Spady unleashed a number of his self-crafted, thought-provoking “Spadyisms”. Some of these were:
“You can average Numbers, but you can’t average Outcomes!’
“Points immediately Obscure/ Hide/ Distort Substance.”
“The bigger the outcome, the bigger the opportunity you need.”
“When you run out of time, you run out of opportunity.”
It was a discovery-filled day with Dr. William Spady. The seminar organized by OLFU’s Faculty Development Committee was a coup in terms of faculty engagement and enrichment.