What Does Competency-Based Learning Really Mean?

Posted on February 2, 2018 by David Niguidula

Gone are the days when learners sit down the entire academic year, learn only from their teacher, and take standardized tests to know how well they have mastered the subject. Today’s learners are active, independent, and creative. They seek purpose in what they do and strive to attain their potential in different fields. Now, how do we address their changing needs?

Competency-based learning ensures students not only learn inside the classroom but also in diverse environments. The interests and learning styles of individuals are taken into consideration which allows them to learn the way they learn best – something that traditional system misses. In this type of learning, students are not expected to sit down and listen to lectures the entire time. They get to explore and gather information and ideas from a wide range of resources.

Assessments also come in different forms. In the traditional system, learners are required to take a pen-and-paper test which ultimately measures how much they have learned. With competency-based learning, application of learning is given more emphasis. This gives educators a more concrete proof that learners are equipped with the right skills they need for advancement.

Furthermore, the traditional education system gives the teacher the sole control of what proficient looks like. Students are expected to meet the standards based on the activities given by their teacher. In competency-based learning, they get to be creative in showcasing their mastery of competencies.

With these key points in mind, imagine what we can do to empower our educators and learners.

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