Competency-based education (CBE) awards academic credit based on mastery of clearly defined competencies. CBE replaces the conventional model in which time is fixed and learning is variable with a model in which the time is variable and the learning is fixed. CBE is built around clearly defined competencies and measurable learning objectives that demonstrate mastery of those competencies. Measuring learning by competency is not new, but various challenges facing higher education, combined with new models and technologies, have brought a new focus on CBE. A growing number of competency-based programs have been developed at all levels of instruction. CBE capitalizes on the potential of online learning, enabling new models that can reduce both the cost and time needed to earn credentials while better preparing students for their professional lives.
The 7 Things You Should Know About... series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the 7 Things briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.