The saying goes, “Don’t kill the goose which lays the golden eggs.” If you insist on outcomes-based quality assurance (OBQA) you express interest in the golden eggs, but you kill the goose.
If, on the other hand, you say, “No, I am an intelligent person. Because I am truly interested in the golden eggs, I will love the goose, feed it, and make sure it remains alive and healthy. I would respect the goose, and never think that the golden eggs are more important than the goose,” then you are not just interested in its golden eggs.
Because the goose is necessary for the production of my golden eggs, I will never just concede that the goose must live.
Especially if I am interested in an ongoing supply of golden eggs, I will consider the health and life of the goose at least as important as the golden eggs.
The current version of CHED’s “Outcomes-Based and Typology-Based QA” looks longingly if not greedily at the golden eggs, then merely concedes that the goose is important. It admits that the goose must be fed, cared for, and kept alive, but still insists that between the golden eggs and the goose, the golden eggs are more important.
Consider “Section 14: CHED is committed to developing and implementing an outcomes-based approach to QA monitoring and evaluation because it has the potential to greatly increase both the effectiveness of the QA system, and the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of higher education. Mature evaluation systems are based upon outcomes, looking particularly into the intended, implemented, and achieved learning outcomes.”
Here, the focus is on the outcomes. The focus will purportedly increase the effectiveness of the QA system. Focus on the golden eggs, and in your greed you may forget to feed the goose. Focus on the golden eggs, and you may kill the goose.
But then CHED might say, I’m not focusing only on the golden eggs. I am looking particularly into the intention, process of implementation, process of achievement of golden eggs. I know that if I am to produce golden eggs, my goose must be fed, nurtured, cared for, loved. Once CHED says that, it is not longer just basing its quality assurance on outcomes.
The goose is at least as important as the golden eggs.
Consider furthermore: “Section 15. While CHED adopts an outcomes-based approach to monitoring and evaluation, specific inputs (e.g., qualified teachers; laboratories for relevant disciplines) and processes remain important, as they create the environment and shape the learning experience that is made available to students.”
Here, while CHED continues to look lustily at the golden eggs, it concedes that the goose “remains important.” It concedes that for skilled and competent engineers, quality teachers, teaching skills, buildings, laboratories and the like remain important. They are part of an environment of learning. It also concedes that the student must learn, prior to the outcomes. But what is the great gain achieved here in QA? For the golden eggs, the goose “remains important.” This is wrong. For the golden eggs, the goose is essential. Kill the goose, you kill the golden eggs. Corrupt the goose, you end up with rotten eggs.
Well at least the current formulation of OTBQA is better than earlier formulations where the goose, perilously, was overlooked. Poor goose.
For quality assurance (QA) you cannot vitiate, ignore, nor disrespect the goose. If you want quality golden eggs, you better make sure that your goose is living a quality life. That’s what QA does. It checks essentially not only on the quality of the eggs, but also on the health of the goose. Disrespect the goose, and for all your fashionable gawking about the goose’s outcomes, what a sick goose produces is bad eggs. What the dead goose that once produced golden eggs produces is regret.