Objective - A course objective describes what a faculty member will cover in a course. They are generally less broader than desirable goals and more broader than student learning outcomes.
Outcome - A detailed description of what a student must be able to do at the conclusion of a course.
We generally map the objective to the outcomes to analyse and document their attainment. An objective is more like a plan, or a road map to reach/attain the outcomes.
Deciding outcomes for academic achievements and it's attainment for assessment and formulation is based on a learning theory called Outcome Based Education(OBE).
OBE is an educational theory that bases each part of an educational system around goals (outcomes). By the end of the educational experience, each student should have achieved the goal. There is no single specified style of teaching or assessment in OBE; instead, classes, opportunities, and assessments should all help students achieve the specified outcomes. The role of the faculty adapts into instructor, trainer, facilitator, and/or mentor based on the outcomes targeted.
The accreditation and regulatory organisations including NAAC, AICTE etc. has clearly made their intentions clear about introducing a skill-based, competency nurturing learning experience. Many new regulations and changes in the Indian educational front are in regard of this. As of the NBA, their accreditation methods and assessment parameters are based on OBE, and would only relate more to the core concept as time goes. In the words of NBA.
Now remember, these are different from your course objectives. We'll look more closely into this while we discuss Course Outcomes (COs).
POs are statements about the knowledge, skills and attitudes (attributes) the graduate of a formal engineering program should have. POs deal with the general aspect of graduation for a particular program, and the competencies and expertise a graduate will possess after completion of the program.
The Program Outcomes set by the institution must reflect on these.
Graduates will be able to:
POs are attained through program specific Core Courses, which has their own previously set outcomes to attain. These course-specific outcomes are called Course Outcomes. Each course is designed to meet (about 5-6) Course Outcomes Course Outcomes. The Course Outcomes are stated in such a way that they can be actually measured.
COs are set by the institution, by consulting with the department heads, faculty, students and other stakeholders.
For example a course such as CBCS might have the following course outcomes set.
Program Educational Objectives (PEO) are statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing the graduates to achieve. PEO's are measured 4-5 years after graduation.
They are set in order to measure the effectiveness of the program, and to check whether it has prepared the students to deal with the real world, where they could apply and use the skills and knowledge they've learned to good use.
They are set in order to measure the effectiveness of the program, and to
check whether it has prepared the students to deal with the real world,
where they could apply and use the skills and knowledge they've learned to
(National Board of Accreditation)
All POs can be adequately addressed through the selection of core courses and their COs. These measurements provide the basis for continuous improvement in the quality of learning, which the NBA ultimately aims.
These outcomes are more like signboards and roadmaps to help the learners reach where they're supposed to reach, and contribute to progress.