Competency-Based Learning Puts Students at the Center. It’s Perfect for Now.

Edsurge

Then COVID-19 catapulted education into crisis mode, forcing her and all students and teachers into at-home learning situations across the world. Older students employed as essential workers, at grocery stores and warehouse distribution centers, lost significant learning time.

Regulatory noise stifles, slows rise of competency-based learning

The Christensen Institute

Earlier this month, Inside Higher Ed reported on how the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General is stymying the rise of competency-based learning in higher education—and is at odds with the rest of the Department, which has been enthusiastic about competency-based learning’s potential. For online, competency-based programs, the old metrics are those focused on inputs.

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The liberal arts have a bright future in competency-based learning

The Christensen Institute

Although competency-based learning in higher education is arising based on the need for more affordable programs that prepare students for the workforce, by no means is competency-based learning inherently synonymous with the demise of the liberal arts. Second, online, competency-based programs don’t have to be about training students for a specific job; they can offer a more general liberal-arts program.

In search of on-ramps to competency-based learning

The Christensen Institute

As more and more school systems across the country explore “going competency-based,” we need to be attentive to the processes that will actually allow such innovations to thrive. Current time- and age-based accountability measures have a stronghold on schools, even those trying to break away from the factory model of education. Carving out autonomy for competency-based models to thrive can take various forms. Supplemental online courses.

Utah and Florida sign bills to support competency-based learning pilots, but now the real work begins

The Christensen Institute

This month, governors in Utah and Florida signed bills supporting the creation of competency-based education pilot programs in districts and schools. Utah’s bill, SB 143 , creates the Competency-Based Education Grants Program, which allows local education agencies to apply for grants to pilot competency-based education programs. Here are three things for educators and policymakers to keep in mind as they embark on pilots: 1.

Distinctly Equitable: How This Chicago School Makes Competency-Based Learning Work

Edsurge

Does competency-based education hold the key to providing an equitable learning opportunity to every student? As she puts it, competency-based learning “gives students the chance. Distinctive Schools network, we have been on a journey implementing personalized learning that takes a competency based approach. In this model, students learn at their level and move on to concepts when they have demonstrated mastery.

Tackle teacher shortages with online learning

The Christensen Institute

These teacher shortages are proving especially acute in certain subject areas like special education, science, and mathematics. For example, two in five high schools don’t offer physics, according to a recent Education Week Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Online offerings could hold the key to disrupting the nation’s antiquated teacher recruitment and retention strategies.

Tackling the education-to-employment gap

The Christensen Institute

Earlier this year, CareerBuilder and Capella Learning Solutions announced an innovative partnership, RightSkill , to bridge the growing talent gap in the United States. Bringing Capella’s competency-based learning—in which learning becomes the constant and time becomes the variable—together with the real-time labor data of CareerBuilder offers a new way to build a supply of job-ready talent. Matt: Capella has been digital and competency-based for two decades.

Unlikely bedfellows converge, create inspired vision for future of education

The Christensen Institute

From the right to the left, from those who support school choice to those who have sought to protect traditional school districts, from superintendents and principals to the presidents of the two major teachers unions, and from industry leaders to researchers, a diverse group of unlikely bedfellows released on Tuesday a new effort and accompanying report to rethink education in America titled Education Reimagined: A transformational vision for education in the U.S.

Inputs do not guarantee outcomes: Getting online credit recovery right

The Christensen Institute

The Los Angeles Unified School District is back in the news for its use of technology, this time for its online credit-recovery courses. In a recent editorial , the Los Angeles Times called into question the district’s record-high 75 percent graduation rate, as it said that the figure was based in part on LA Unified’s dependence on its less-than-rigorous online credit-recovery courses. Actual learning—not a piece of paper—should be the goal for every student.

Competency-based legal education

The Christensen Institute

A few weeks ago, I discussed why law schools need to respond to the changing marketplace for legal services and legal education. In thinking about how best to prepare for that changing world, law schools need to consider how competency-based educational models can be employed to advance educational objectives for students seeking to enter the market for legal services. One way to do this is to think about legal education from a blank slate.

How should quality assurance for competency-based ed work?

The Christensen Institute

As online, competency-based learning gains steam in higher education, a critical question is emerging. If the federal government will fund competency-based programs through Title IV dollars, how should it think about regulating these programs? For online, competency-based programs, the old metrics are those focused on inputs. This post was first published on CompetencyWorks.

Government accountability goes unaccountable: Chilling WGU’s innovation engine

The Christensen Institute

For the last two decades, Western Governors University (WGU) has led the nation in creating and scaling an innovative, high-quality educational model that today helps roughly 90,000 enrolled students make progress in their lives and careers. Last week, the Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General spilled cold water on this record of success with a faulty audit that found WGU ineligible to participate in federal student-aid programs.

Coursera, K12, Inc. make bold moves to drive learning

The Christensen Institute

In 2013 and 2014, sobriety returned to the world of education and the luster of MOOCs faded some. similarly stormed through the early 2000s by bringing online learning to the world of K-12 education and went public in 2007. As I wrote, Coursera’s initial incarnation never felt to me like it could disrupt higher education. The reason is that the top universities do not offer the best teaching and learning experiences.

Charter schools tackle shortcomings of college

The Christensen Institute

According to the Department of Education , 59 percent of first-time, full-time undergraduate students graduate within six years. Summit Public Schools, a charter network based in Silicon Valley in California, had elements of this model. For the first time, their alums were being asked to truly learn on their own and figure out how to navigate their school’s requirements largely by themselves.

Disruption looms for law schools

The Christensen Institute

Law schools represent the canary in the coal mine for the rest of higher education, as they face perhaps the clearest and most imminent threat. And it could still get worse for law schools, but better for prospective students desiring a legal education. As we write in the paper, despite all the changes impacting legal education, to this point disruptive innovators have not directly attacked law schools by offering new versions of a legal education.

How online learning is changing credit recovery

eSchool News

As learning becomes more accessible, credit recovery programs are evolving. Online learning is playing an increasingly important part in credit recovery for students with a variety of academic needs, according to a new report from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). Here’s where competency-based education comes in. Students work with their parents and teacher to determine their individual learning pace.

Beware of taking flexibility a step too far

The Christensen Institute

At its best, online learning can catalyze new heights of flexibility—in path, pace, place, space, and teacher-student interactions—amidst an education landscape that has long looked more like an industrial production line. In blended and online environments, students can move at their own pace, and when provided access to real-time data, teachers can intervene more nimbly when individual students get stuck.

What law schools should do to combat disruption

The Christensen Institute

That threat is likely to accelerate when, not if, a disruptive innovator emerges in legal education (in this context, the news of 2U’s partnership with Syracuse to build an online juris doctor (JD) program is worth watching). First, schools can use online learning as a sustaining innovation to improve learning and control costs. There has been plenty, from discount retail to online retail.

Persistence Is Not Always Productive: How to Stop Students From Spinning Their Wheels

Edsurge

My first experience as an educator was teaching middle-school mathematics and science in Baltimore. The goal is not to remove the obstacles from learning. Educators must be able to distinguish between moments of “ productive persistence ” and moments where students are simply spinning their wheels. Believe it or not, “wheel-spinning” is now a technical term and has become a topic of interest to researchers who study how children learn.

Creating a sea change to improve teacher impact

The Christensen Institute

One of the most conclusive findings in education research is that teachers matter. Given this reality, many education leaders have rightly made it their priority to recruit high-quality teachers to work with their students, and many of the leading education reform efforts focus on teachers. Department of Education are to get states to implement rigorous teacher evaluation systems and to improve the quality of the nation’s teacher preparation programs.

Why There’s Little Consistency in Defining Competency-Based Education

Edsurge

Enter competency-based learning (CBE), a term introduced in the 1970s when the U.S. Department of Education issued grants to support CBE programs, focused on helping adult learners, at postsecondary institutions. This is the standard definition of competency-based education that most educators, policymakers and researchers largely agree with: a system in which students progress based on their demonstration of mastery of a certain concept or skill.

4 Digital learning trends for Higher Education

Neo LMS

Higher Education (HE) has significantly lagged behind other industries on the road to digitization. Despite the growing demand for edtech and online learning, face-to-face lectures and on-campus activities remained the core part of how students accessed their education.

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OPINION: The time has come to stop assigning letter and number grades

The Hechinger Report

The pandemic forced school systems across the world to move to virtual platforms for teaching and learning. Families and communities have all worried about how they will support their children’s education and development while they learn at home.

Competency-based and blended learning: Friends or foes?

The Christensen Institute

Last week, I presented a webinar for the Michigan-based EdTech Specialists’ webinar series on blended learning and competency-based education. The presentation provided me with a chance to revisit a blog post I wrote two years ago on the overlap—or lack thereof—between competency-based and blended approaches to teaching and learning. Early on, as many in the field do, the overlap of blended and competency-based learning felt obvious to me.

Stepping aside to dig deeper: My next career move

The Christensen Institute

Our education team has galvanized a conversation around transforming our monolithic, factory-model education system into a student-centered one powered by the disruptive innovation of online learning so that all students can realize their fullest human potential—an idea that was not on the radar before 2007. The challenges our education system faces are too significant for me to not dig in at this level as well. Horn online learning

Disruptive innovation can help solve nation’s teacher shortage

The Christensen Institute

A critique against the power of disruptive innovation to help our schools educate each child more effectively has been a backhanded one: Yes, re-architecting schools around personalized learning is important, but even more important is having a highly effective teacher for every child. Online learning advocates have for a long time made this point. million teachers to be superheroes, which is a preposterous starting point for education reform.

Blended Learning Universe upgrades to drive educator learning, networking

The Christensen Institute

We live in an amazing time where school leaders have the capability to advance student-centered learning–the combination of personalizing learning and implementing competency-based learning–at scale. The engine to drive that transformation is blended learning. With the upgrade of the Blended Learning Universe (BLU) this week, educators and innovators have gained an important tool to advance this work.

Why continuing education programs are poised to become hubs of innovation

The Christensen Institute

As more adults than ever before enroll in postsecondary education programs and a variety of players—from bootcamps to online and mobile course providers—offer options tailored to match adults’ work and family circumstance, traditional colleges and universities have struggled to keep pace. Those with a continuing education program have a valuable asset they should leverage as their hub of innovation to improve opportunities not just for adults but for all students.

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6 tips from personalized learning innovators leading change

The Christensen Institute

Earlier this year, the Rhode Island-based Highlander Institute and the Clayton Christensen Institute teamed up to bring together a conference on blended and personalized learning in Providence, R.I. The goal of the event was to focus on the practical elements of blended and personalized learning by surfacing the tactics that practitioners were deploying in the trenches. Embrace that educators have different skills and strengths,” he said. Click here to learn more.

The next-gen high school to watch

The Christensen Institute

Last month, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) in New Hampshire launched a new set of pathways for students. Although proponents of personalized learning often talk about affording students more choice regarding how they learn, few schools have managed to figure out a coherent architecture to get there. These allow students to move through learning at a more flexible pace, on an as-needed basis.

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What’s edtech got to do with growth mindset?

Neo LMS

It was the first week of fifth grade and I was so ready to learn History. Make learning a priority. which Dweck associates with a false growth mindset, won’t help them achieve their learning goals, at least not in the long run. Challenge students to learn more. E-learnin

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Digital Promise Awards eSpark Research-Based Design Product Certification

eSpark

With so many options for online learning available, one thing that can set a program apart from the others is a curriculum grounded in proven educational research. We’re really proud to receive this credential as recognition of our research-based approach.”.

Wanted: New role for education department’s inspector general

The Christensen Institute

Department of Education’s inspector general is scrutinizing Western Governors University (WGU), the nation’s largest competency-based university and a high-quality innovator. The audit is likely around whether the faculty interaction with students at WGU is “regular and substantive” enough to meet the Higher Education Act’s requirement for distance education. That obsession has caused accreditors to pull back on authorizing competency-based programs.

Adult learning culture: An underrated ingredient for success in uncertain times

The Christensen Institute

This piece was co-authored with Dr. Beth Rabbitt, CEO of The Learning Accelerator. Each of their stories show why having a strong adult professional learning culture pays off. Yes, work toward competency-based learning and focus more on deep learning than on broad content coverage.