Major Upgrade: iOBE v6.1

Monday, August 30, 2021

Update on 30/8/2021: A newer upgrade, iOBE v6.1, was made to replace iOBE v6.0 that was released here in this post on 26/8/2021. iOBE v6.0 contained a glitch when reading input files, and has been taken out from here following this new replacement of v6.1. Users who have downloaded iOBE v6.0 should replace it with the newer v6.1.


The iOBE software has been upgraded with major improvements, from iOBE v5.2 into iOBE v6.1. The new version was developed in the 64-bit Windows OS with Matlab R2021a and therefore has to be run with the newest Matlab compiler in the same Windos OS. The software can also be run on Apple MAC computers, but only within the 64-bit Windows OS environment that needs to be installed first into the MAC computers.

The new software, its compiler, and relevant documentations can be downloaded below. The full version of the iOBE software is released as a free software to the public.

  1. iOBE Software Version 6.1
  2. Matlab Runtime Compiler R2021a (9.10) for 64-bit Windows
  3. Other related documentations
The key upgrades are:
  1. Students' Names with Symbols: In the previous version (iOBE v5.2), there was a limitation in that students' names cannot contain non-alphabetical characters or symbols, such as the slashes "/" in names that contain S/O (son of) or D/O (daughter of). In iOBE v6.1, this issue has been fixed and students' names with symbols can now be entered as inputs. Examples of such names are included in the sample files packaged together with the iOBE software that can be downloaded in the link above.
  2. Flexible Axes Labelling: Plot axes are labelled exactly with the names of the Assessment Tools, Course Outcomes, or Program Outcomes entered by users as inputs into the Excel file of the course to be computed. In the previous version, the axes were labelled as numbered codes only (e.g., AT1, AT2, AT3... CO1, CO2, CO3... PO1, PO2, PO3, and so on).
  3. Expanded Charts: The bar charts based on student populations are expanded with more data being plotted, to show populations of students with marks above 80%, 70%, 60%, 40%, and 25%. These five marking levels are chosen based on the typical levels used at USM. In the previous version (iOBE v5.2), only three marking levels were shown, with marks above 80%, 60%, and 40%.
  4. Progress Bar: A small Windows progress-bar panel appears when the software computation is initiated. The panel displays a green bar that dynamically show the progress of the computational process in the software, which typically takes a few seconds for a single course, and up to less than 2 minutes when aggregating 50 courses or more.
When using the new version, please take note that:
  1. The previous version of the main input files in Microsoft Excel at the course level (i.e., Course Info, individual course files, and the iOBEdata files for individual courses) that were used with iOBE v5.2 are COMPATIBLE with iOBE v6.1, and can be used as they are with iOBE v6.1 without any changes.
  2. The previous version of the Course List file that was used at the program level with iOBE v5.2 are NOT COMPATIBLE with iOBE v6.1. The Course List file for iOBE v6.1 has an extra (third) sheet that contains the list of the Program Outcomes (POs). This list MUST BE IDENTICAL to the list of POs in all of the courses in the program. A sample file of the new Course List is included together with the iOBE software package that can be downloaded above.
  3. The input files are maintained to be in the form of Excel files because this is the EASIEST way for lecturers to enter students' assessment data. In most cases, lecturers already record the assessment data of their students in Excel files. In such cases, they can simply copy-paste the data from their own Excel files into the Excel files formatted to be used with the iOBE software. These specially-formatted Excel files come pre-packaged with the software that can be downloaded above.
Examples of the charts produced from this new version are shown below:
Hopefully this upgrade will help facilitate and improve the process of computing students' learning outcomes for educational program providers.


iOBE Workshop @ SComm USM

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

An iOBE workshop has recently been conducted online at the School of Communication USM on August 12th 2021, through the Webex Platform.

Many thanks to Dr Nurzali, the Dean of SComm, for this invitation, and to the Academic Team headed by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bahiyah for organizing this workshop. Thank you also to Dr Hasfizani and her administrative team for further follow-ups in using the iOBE software at SComm.

This session explained the rationale and techniques of computing the attainment of Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) for individual students and groups of students at the course and program levels, and introduced the iOBE software as a solution to automate the computation of these outcomes.


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