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Aurora Institute

Balanced systems of assessments promote deeper learning and improved outcomes by providing teachers and students with timely, relevant, and transparent information to support students’ development.


Traditional assessments are administered to all students at the same time in the same format on the same content, with the primary purpose of verifying what students know. Competency-based systems emphasize a balanced approach to assessment that includes feedback and revision, multiple opportunities to reach proficiency, performance-based assessment, an emphasis on assessing depth of knowledge, and multiple ways to demonstrate evidence of learning. In addition to verifying what students know, assessment becomes part of the learning process, with low-stakes opportunities to practice and self-assess throughout the learning cycle. The result is that students see assessment as meaningful to their learning.

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What Is Competency-Based Education? An Updated Definition

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