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Competency-Based Education requires more than just adding devices

• ExcelinEd

Competency-Based Education


What are the best ways to get started with Competency-Based Education? Today, ExcelinEd’s Karla Phillips teamed up with Getting Smart’s Tom Vander Ark to share a dozen ways schools and districts can begin personalized learning and Competency-Based Education.

12 Onramps for Personalized and Competency-Based Learning
Getting Smart
By: Tom Vander Ark and Karla Phillips

Your school, program or college has probably seen improvement in learner access to technology in the last few years…But you may still be looking for ways to achieve real personalization in path and pace. It turns out that developing competency-based models where learners progress based on demonstrated mastery is a lot harder than adding devices.

As Julia Freeland Fisher recently noted, “Systems will likely get into trouble if they attempt to make just a few aspects of their models competency-based, while retaining an otherwise traditional structure.” Julia suggested four onramps—places to get started with personalized and competency-based learning, and we’ve added a half a dozen more.

1. Teacher learning. Teachers often teach the way they were taught. Giving them a competency-based experience is a great place to start. Read the new Bloomboard report on micro-credentials to learn how to deliver bite-sized learning and recognize it with a digital badge.

2. Low stakes space. After school and summer school are a great place to innovate—it’s how NewClassrooms (School of One) got its start in New York City. A recent American Youth Policy Forum report suggested that quality after school programs increasingly provide academically enriching experiences where students can demonstrate competencies that can apply towards credits in school.

3. Blended and adaptive learning. Use a lab or class rotation model to introduce adaptive reading and math software. It will provide an hour or two of personalized learning each week as well as valuable real time data. Students that use i-Ready from Curriculum Associates for 45 minutes or more per week grew 44 percent more than the average student in reading and 65 percent more in math. Launched in 2012, almost three million students (about 8 percent of U.S. enrollments) benefited from the Curriculum Associates’ adaptive assessment and instruction in 2015.

4. Credit recovery. Where blended learning started; this is a great place to pinpoint and address gaps and, as a result, advance competency-based learning…

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