What’s New in Competency-Based Higher Education?
CBE Programs and Initiatives
- The U.S. Airforce is exploring competency education with a new Continuum of Learning initiative to allow airmen to learn anytime, anywhere throughout their careers, encouraging a culture of lifelong learning.
- The University of Maine at Presque Isle announced a Competency Based Education Bachelor of Business Administration degree, which gives adult learners the ability to earn their college degree in a few years for under $10,000.
- There is a movement of schools across the country attempting to revolutionize the college admissions process and abandon the traditional college transcript.
- National University announced a $20 million project to create a personalized learning platform that combines adaptive courseware, predictive analytics and competency-based education.
- Here are six ways to build a strong CBE program, from Sinclair Community College.
Competency and Academic Standards Exchange
Based on the Technical Interoperability Pilot (TIP) research with C-BEN institutions, IMS Global’s CBE workgroup has published the Competency and Academic Standards Exchange (CASE) specification (https://www.imsglobal.org/case). CASE enables edtech tools to manage and exchange competency-based curricular data along with aligned rubrics. By replacing spreadsheet-processes with CASE exchanges, institutions can both realize efficiencies and progress toward a digital credentials-based ecosystem.
Major features enabled by CASE include:
- Institutional management of a digital curriculum supporting competencies, related courses and external frameworks
- Flexible structures for a wide variety of curricular types, hierarchies and levels of detail – each institution can have their own competency program and structure
- Versioning of curriculum elements to support stable change over time
- Faculty-driven, criterion-referenced assessments using aligned rubrics
- Content which can be tailored to local terms, semantics and vocabularies
- Options to share curricular alignments to external frameworks
- Competency and rubric publishing to Credential Engine’s Registry
- A feature to match learning-resources to curriculum when connected to supporting publishers
- Support for a lifelong learning ecosystem based on institution-verified statements and represented in digital credentials such as digital extended transcripts and badges
- Free public access to open source standards and code for inclusion in commercial and proprietary systems
- AIR released a new report, Measuring Student Success in Postsecondary Competency-Based Education Programs: Toward a Student Outcomes Metrics Framework, which articulates metrics that can be used across many CBE program types to build toward a common language about CBE students and outcomes. In addition, the brief articulates key challenges to that common language, calling for CBE program leaders and researchers to engage in field-wide conversations about addressing them.
- Eduventures, Ellucian, and the American Council on Education(ACE) released their second annual competency education review: Deconstructing CBE: Portraits of Institutional Practice. This Education Dive article provides a snapshot of report findings.
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