Dr. Deborah M. Seymore
American Council on Education

Dr. Deborah Everhart

  • Competency-based learning and education defined.
  • Research and enhancing the dialogue.
  • Results

Competency Based Learning

Transitioning away from seat time in favor of a structure that creates flexibility, allows students to progress as the demonstrate mastery regardless of time, place or pace of learning.  Provide flexibility in the way that credit can be earned or awarded and provide personalized learning opportunities – US Dept of Education

Competency Based Education

Is an alternative to the credit hour-based system of credentialing.  Student progressed is based on demonstration of proficiency and/or mastery as measured through assessments and/or application of credit through prior learning.  In CBE programs, time is the variable and student competency mastery is the focus.  in CBE the focus is on academic programs, practices and policies.

Potential benefits of competency based learning:

  • Focus on learning outcomes
  • learning activities and assessments aligned to outcomes
  • credit for prior and experiential learning
  • Motivated and engaged students
  • Efficient, flexible and lower-cost credentials
  • Increased student retention and completion rates
  • Lifelong learners’ portable evidence of learning
  • Employers’ visibility into graduates’ competencies
  • Outcomes-based frameworks for continuous improvement

Join Research –

Mutual interest in:

  • Credit for prior learning and credit mobility
  • serving post-traditional students
  • digital badging and alternative credentials
  • expanding CBE dialogue

Outcomes –

  • Published Clarifying Competency based Education terms – lexicon
  • Leadership roundtables with CBE practicioners
  • Blackboard Blog Series
  • ACE publications
  • Public forum releasing research paper: The Currency of Higher Education: Credits & Competencies

Get Infographic on what CBE looks like from ACE website: http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/PublishingImages/What-Competency-Based-Education-Looks-Like-Full.jpg

What CBE Looks like.

Clarifying Competency Based Education terms:

94 terms defined:

11 classifications

  • overview
  • competencies & learning outcomes
  • assessment processes
  • evidence of learning
  • Credentials
  • Badges
  • Instructional and Supporting Roles
  • Student Support
  • Regulations & Accreditation
  • Validation

CBE Definitions & Framework – (Focus on institutions and education programs) Competency, Occupational Skills, ONET, Learning Outcomes, Institutional Outcomes, Accreditation Standards

CBE Educational Structures: (Focus on institutions and education programs) Credentialing – Credentials, Certificates & Degrees, Stackable Credentials, Credit for Prior Learning

CBE Educational Structures: Instructional Roles – Instructor, Coach, Assessor, Advisor, Tutor, 360 Help & Support

CBE Federal Regulations and Accreditation Requirements – Attendance, Credit Hour, Seat Time, Title iV, Direct Assessment etc..

CBL learning processes (Focus on Learners & learning processes) – Differentiated Learning, Authentic Assessment, Project-Based Learning, Mastery, Proficiency, Leveling up(motivator).

CBL Badges & Portable Evidence of Learning (Focus on Learners & learning processes) – Badges, Micro-credentials(not explicitly an open badge, small unit of learning), Open badge Standard, Portable Evidence of learning, Badge Backpack, Portfolio, Profile

The Currency of Higher Education: Credits and Competencies

Credit-hour proceesses are likely to remain deeply embedded in post-secondary systems for some time, but there is ample opportunity for innovation with competencies and a parallel and complimentary currency.

Diverse stakeholders – government agencies, educational leaders, faculty, assessors, students, employers are all looking at competencies.

Competencies provide representations of learning outcomes that are more flexible and transparent than credit hours. Competencies are more prone to change over time than fixed unit representation of credit hours.

Implementing CBE practices in credit-hour places in complex.  but if faces fewer barriers and more rapidly provide benefits to a large number of students when outcomes-based approaches are compatible with credit-hour systems and processes.

Students need to know how they can evaluate the quality of CBE programs. Little structure is available to facilitate this.

Employers are key stakeholders in the definition of CBE credentials and credential marketability.

Badges and other micro-credentials can be useful bearers of competencies achieved.