OBE vs IBL (in the context of Pakistan Engineering Council)

Recently, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) announced to follow Outcome Based Education (OBE) by all PEC accredited institution.Since then, there is a lot of debate going on comparing OBE with other student centric learning methodologies such as Project-based learning (PBL) or Inquiry-based learning (IBL). I can sense a great confusion in the air i.e. whether we have to follow OBE or student centric approaches?  This is because of not having a clear understanding about both. People are getting mixed both and sometimes consider each one replacement of another - which is factually incorrect. 

OBE is a system which doesn't restrict a teacher to use any method of teaching. OBE encourage to achieve the goals/objective by using any method. PEC is using OBE for the assessment purpose i.e. whether certain objectives achieved by an engineer or not. PEC also suggested/recommended certain methodology/tools to implement OBE in classes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outcome-based_education)

However, student centric approaches, such as IBL, Project Based Learning, and Discovery Based Learning, are teaching methodologies one can adapt to enhance the learning experience in a class room. It doesn't restrict to use one or another assessment methods. There are on going debate and people having different experiences about which assessment method is more efficient. So, student centric approaches don't restrict you on how you assess a student. (https://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/pdf/ibl.pdf)

To make it further simple, each course has three components i.e. Curriculum, Classes/delivery, and Assessment.  The curriculum is where we define the learning outcome and potential contents to achieve those learning outcome. The assessment is used to identify whether a student has achieved those defined learning outcomes or not. The classes component is where the learning has to happen - a student learn the content to demonstrate s/he has achieved the desired learning outcomes. To make sure the learning is happening a teacher can use any or multiple methods such as lectures, problem-based learning, project based learning, or inquiry based learning. The matter of fact is the relying only on lectures will lead to a situation: "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".


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