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Competency-based Education 101

By Rod Ford and Ryan Meyer


AbstractCompetency-based education (CBE) is not new to higher education. For decades, colleges have been granting credit for content a student has previously mastered through prior learning assessments. But another approach to CBE, one in which students are granted credit as they master new academic content, is now being offered at an increasing number of public and private institutions. At least one factor driving this shift is employer's expectations that even entry-level employees can handle problem-solving tasks within their domain. This requires institutions to define competency models that align with job functions and requires educators to integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) into the learning experiences. Focus groups comprised of industry leaders can help institutions define competency models that align to jobs available for each degree level. Competency models that include indicating behaviors that define the characteristics of each level of proficiency aid in course design and assessment. Faculty can use the competency model as the starting point for course design but the integration of KSAs into holistic learning tasks is complex. As faculty seek to adjust to the demands of CBE, van Merrienboer's 4C-ID methodology provides a framework for the discovery of the authentic tasks performed by experts in real-world settings. The core components (Learning Task, Supportive Information, Procedural Information, and Part-Task Practice) also guide faculty to transition authentic tasks into learning experiences that facilitate student proficiency across a competency model

Publisher: The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.325
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