Revisiting the EFL curriculum in the outcome-based education framework and freedom to learn program

Imroatus Solikhah


In this study, three dimensions were evaluated: the process of developing the curriculum, course distribution to serve quality assurance, and development of courses for Merdeka Belajar (Freedom to Learn) program. Curriculum documents and papers presented in the focus group discussion were used as data sources. Content analysis design and qualitative data analysis were used for analyzing the data.  A total of 42 participants from Indonesian public and Islamic universities were included in this study. The data were thematically analyzed. The study resulted in three key findings. First, initial curriculum development focused on competency-based curriculum and outcome-based education. Not all learning outcomes and course mapping match the curriculum based on backward design. Second, the National Qualification Framework should be built on the skill and knowledge cluster to adequately assess course learning outcomes. Also, the 144-credit-course distribution should allow the undergraduate program to be completed in seven semesters. Third, curriculum developers can divide 40 semester credits for Merdeka Belajar courses and 104 credits for regular courses. Conversion of credits can be achieved by assigning equal courses in the same semester, combining undergraduate research with fieldwork, or publication in a journal.



learning outcomes, outcome-based education, competence-based curriculum, freedom to learn, backward design approach.

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