What is Competency Based Learning?


What is Competency Based Learning?

Every student is different and so is their learning pace.

The concept of Competency-based learning addresses this individual learning pace in an effective way. It refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education. The concept acknowledges the learning outcomes and not the time that is being taken by students to achieve their goals.

In an article on Huffington Post Dr. Robert Mendenhall, President, Western Governors University mentions, “The most important characteristic of competency-based education is that it measures learning rather than time. Students’ progress by demonstrating their competence, which means they prove that they have mastered the knowledge and skills (called competencies) required for a particular course, regardless of how long it takes. While more traditional models can and often do measure competency, they are time-based — courses last about four months, and students may advance only after they have put in the seat time. This is true even if they could have completed the coursework and passed the final exam in half the time. So, while most colleges and universities hold time requirements constant and let learning vary, competency-based learning allows us to hold learning constant and let time vary.

The pedagogy seems to be promising as students get their time and can learn on their individual pace without having to worry about the time boundation. It also focuses on quality education as the core value is to master the knowledge and skills.

Watch the videos below to get a better understanding of the topic.

What is competency-based education?

Within this pedagogy students can only move ahead when they have completed the content and not by dedication certain number of days or hours! Explore more in the video.

Competency-Based Learning: Developing Mastery of Skills and Content

Students from Pittsfield Middle High School showcase how they have learned with the approach in action.

Competency Education and Personalized Learning

The pedagogy is often confused with personalized learning. The video clears the doubts.

Lessons From a Competency-Based Education Experiment

Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, a leading proponent of competency based education talks about his vision of competency-based education and what has surprised him from his college's own experiment.

Competency-based Learning in 60 Seconds

And one final quick look to the pedagogy!

What’s your take on the concept of Competency Based Learning?

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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