OBE, ILOs and Criterion-Referenced Assessment (CRA)


With the introduction of outcome based education (OBE), assessment practice in Hong Kong moved from norm-referencing (often referred to as “grading to a curve”, where students are graded with reference to their peers) to criterion-referencing, where student performance is evaluated against achievement of course intended learning outcomes (ILOs) and which encourages a collaborative, rather than a competitive, learning environment. Hong Kong universities’ adoption of criterion-referenced assessment is audited periodically via the UGC’s Quality Assurance Council (QAC) academic quality audits of teaching and learning. Being clear about the link between assessment and the achievement of ILOs and how students respond to learning tasks is essential for the successful delivery and assessment of courses.