Competency Based Education

As for my weekly share, I was on the phone with somebody yesterday and we got down to discussing what shape primarily technical courses should take.  One of the ideas I brought up was Competency Based Education (CBE), which is basically dividing a degree up into self-paced modules that students can pursue 100% asynchronously.  It steps away from the facilitation model in certain respects because it’s self-paced, so I wouldn’t advise it for more liberal arts oriented or discussion oriented courses, but at the same time it could be possible if done correctly.   Here are some cool articles I found on the subject you might enjoy looking over:


ELI: 7 Things You Should Know About Competency-Based Education

Meeting Students Where They Are: Profiles of Students in Competency-Based Degree Programs

All Hands On Deck: Ten Lessons From Early Adopters of Competency-Based Education


How would you consider this instructional method’s integration with your programs?  Do you feel like it has a place at all?  I see it really holding its own in technical and “one-right-answer” style programs such as accounting or learning how to operate computer programs.  You could charge a set rate, make the majority of the assignments automatically scoring, and take the burden off your faculty beyond looking at the necessary artifacts that prove proficiency and living in a more general discussion forum to facilitate conversations.


At the same time, this model flies in the face of what I spoke about last week.  Liberal Arts is the grounding of my education, but it won’t be for everybody.  For those who are seeking endorsements and certificates, CBE may be a model worth toying with.


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