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Competency-based Education (CBE) A Path Forward Dr. Ross Wirth IACBE Annual Conference – April 9, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Competency-based Education (CBE) A Path Forward Dr. Ross Wirth IACBE Annual Conference – April 9, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Competency-based Education (CBE) A Path Forward Dr. Ross Wirth IACBE Annual Conference – April 9, 2014

2 What is competency-based education? What leading schools are doing 3 Basic Approaches – complementary, but potentially confusing if all done at once Phased CBE Expansion – Course, degree, non-credit, blank sheet Objectives for Today 2

3 CBE can mean – low cost to purposeful design – Recognizing prior learning At a competency (not course) level (portfolio and/or exams) – Lower cost, self-paced program of study (new modality) Current assignments, projects, or competency exams – Strengthened learning outcomes Focus on demonstration of learning Clear rubrics for evaluating depth of learning – Purposeful curriculum design that is modular and independent of course structure May include Direct Assessment of competencies Competency-based Education 3

4 Students are provided with the means to acquire the knowledge and skills at an individual pace to demonstrate achievement of specific competencies identified as necessary to complete a program and earn a degree or other credential. Competency-based Model 4 Source: US Dept. of Education

5 Leading Edge Schools

6 Western Governors University – Started in 1995 with self-paced CBE (no legacy programs) – 6 month enrollment windows, no limit on number of courses – 120 Competencies, but tied to traditional course structure – Advisors, graders, & some Q&A support (MS required) Note: Advisors are called faculty but advise students – 40,000 students currently enrolled – Starting to partner with community colleges Establishing articulation pathways with community colleges along with CBE course development (mostly information technology courses) Leveraging grants – Ivy Tech (Gates grant) & Sinclair (DoL grant) – $5780/yr – all-you-can-learn 6-month subscription model 6

7 Southern New Hampshire Univ. dba College for America (concept driven by Clay Christensen) – Developed separate from other programs – 120 competencies – direct assessment (no courses) – P/F grading – Working toward grouping competencies into course equivalents – No time restriction for mastery; work on multiple modules at same time – ePortfolio & badge system for demonstrating progress – Advisors & content experts – very data-driven with predictive analytics – Modules also marketed separately to employers (non-credit) – AA in general business studies currently – Coming – BA in communications, with specialties in health care management and business – Breakeven thought to be 5000 students (500 currently) Target enrollment of 350,000 by 2018 – $2500/year – All-you-can-learn 7

8 Kentucky Community & Technical College System – Two self-paced options Learn-On-Demand – removes dead time in the academic calendar Direct2Degree – – Carefully designed single-train course sequence (new) - also a good advising model for other modalities - Easy to skip past courses that have been transferred in – Working toward 24x7 faculty support with back-up available – 24 hour turnaround for grading – Learning Resources Textbook (adaptive learning) fee required in addition to tuition This fee is proportionally split among all publishers based on average student use 8

9 Kentucky Community & Technical College System – Monthly subscription to encourage faster progression (25 mo.) – Adaptive learning enables more modules for the subscription fee – 81 modules for AS in General Studies taken individually and organized into courses when all modules for a course are done 3 to 5 modules per course Adding Business Admin., Info. Tech., & Nursing – Each module (3-8 weeks) stands alone for credit for stop-outs – 3-levels of competency across one to three courses – Financial Aid options – semester term (traditional student) non-term (multiple starts each semester) no-term monthly subscription (DoEd experimental site) 9

10 CBE Approaches

11 Mix (from lowest to highest cost to deliver) – Student Curated thru Directed Search Leverage existing resources, but fill in gaps through student searching by key words provided – Flipped Classroom using Existing content in LMS (Blue Quill) Open Resources (add additional time to ID & vet) – Publishers Adaptive Learning platform Adds to the cost to deliver, but quicker Decision – Learning Resources 11

12 3 approaches to CBE – Additional modality for individual courses Opportunistic & Quick implementation – Focused, single-train of courses Intensive with quick response times – Secondary brand (like College for America) Disruptive, but leverages existing resources Decision – CBE Approach 12 Complementary to offer but potentially confusing Students must choose one

13 Course-based or Direct Assessment? Self-paced or within existing modalities? Time & capital available to develop? Development approach? – OER, Student Curated, Adaptive Learning? Types of Assessment? Separate or aligned with existing courses? Financial Aid Integration? Approach – Decision Criteria 13

14 Phased Roll-out Enhancement to Concept

15 1.New Modality – Individual Courses – Self-paced with Support Services 2.Extend to a full Degree Path – Single Train, Tri-modalities, or 2 nd Brand 3.Content Re-use for non-credit offering – Potential for pathway to credit 4.Full Competency Mapping – Ultimate Objective for CBE Growing the Concept 15

16 Learning & Assessment Flow 16 Exam for credit Course Complete Unit Pre- test Unit Post- test Learning Activity ADAPTIVEFLOWADAPTIVEFLOW ADAPTIVE FLOWADAPTIVE FLOW ADAPTIVE FLOWADAPTIVE FLOW ADAPTIVE FLOWADAPTIVE FLOW Course Pre-Test Course Post- Test Series of Learning Modules

17 Competency-based Education (CBE) A Path Forward

18 CBE requires managing in a way to avoid common trade-offs Costlower Speedquicker Qualityunchanged for academics improved for student support Trade-off Challenge to Avoid 18

19 Offers an alternative to online & F2F Speed can be increased, but without a reduction in student cost Fits easily within existing financial aid Individual courses can be implemented as faculty have time and interest Mixed Modalities 19

20 Can be run in parallel with existing financial aid, but without an ability to move back-and- forth between approaches – Students must choose a financial aid plan Provides a student advising model Single-train Completion 20

21 Single Train course sequence – Majority of courses common to all degrees – No alternate pathways for elective options Competency-based, self-paced learning No-frills, low-cost student pricing No financial aid, but with provision for adjustment for economic situation New Division - Business Model similar to College for America 21

22 Best Practices Successful ideas becoming common in CBE programs – Competencies grouped into self-paced courses Students are challenged at their level of knowledge and progress Competency report to complement the transcript – All-you-can-learn subscription model (monthly?) Difficult to integrate with other term based modalities – Single-train course sequence (also an advising model) – Adaptive learning to recognize prior learning (text included) – Authentic assessment Projects & portfolios – Extensive student support system Advisors & LMS tracking 22

23 Working Adult Prior experience in field of study Some college, but no degree Self-starter & able to follow directions Technology savvy – Information literate Target CBE Student 23

24 Learning Outcomes are defined in terms of – Particular levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities that a student has attained Competencies take this further by – Describing learning outcomes in terms that describe not only what is to be learned but also the specific levels of performance that students are expected to master Competency vs. Learning Outcome 24 Peter Ewel (2001)

25 Self-paced modality – Leverages existing learning resources – Complemented with adaptive learning Provides a continuum of offerings – Values instructor assistance in learning – Recognizes cost of assessing across different levels of Blooms Taxonomy Meets the challenge of lowering cost to students (if they are qualified learners) – While maintaining quality Phase 1 Summary 25

26 Expands from individual courses to a full degree program – Targets additional self-paced courses – Integrates with existing modalities when students require greater instructor interaction Expand competencies into assessing higher levels of Blooms Taxonomy – Develop additional exams ( level) and competency-based assignments ( level) Phase 2 Summary 26

27 Short essay questions structured around a competency-driven grading rubric – Competency assessed with demonstration of learning Peer Assessment (progress tracking) – Clearly defined rubric – Calibration exercise prior to peer assessment – Multiple (3-5) peers doing the assessment Alternate Assessment 27

28 Pass/Fail grading – Currently no P/F option for Franklin courses – Limit on number of P/F courses accepted? New compensation model is required – Roles: process advisor, content Q&A, and grader – Unknown degree of student need for help & time required that is likely to vary by course Policy Gaps 28

29 Develop a total needs curriculum that – Meets the needs of graduating students and employee development by hiring managers Leverages faculty and LMS content across multiple markets with hooks for up-selling – Includes a pathway to credit that leverages student data for suggestive marketing Phase 3 Summary 29

30 Entrepreneurship – Seminars and UG Certificate HRM 701 & SHRM CEUs – CCE seminars Risk Mgt & Insurance – CCE seminars Internet Marketing – CCE seminars Information Analytics – Oracle Certificate Business Forensics – UG Certificate Inst Design & Perf Tech – GR Certificate Turnkey Corporate University Potential Pilot Projects 30

31 Needs closer alignment between credit and non-credit course development & administration Requires curriculum to be deconstructed into a business needs structure An integrated marketing approach is required Will need to track competencies separate from Colleague Phase 3 gaps to be addressed 31

32 Approach Program Outcomes independent from courses (Blank Sheet curriculum development) – Competencies first, then courses as competency groups (for transferability) – Assessment of higher levels of competency built into the course sequence Phase 4 Summary 32

33 Industry needs, built on academic foundation – Certification focus – Competency Model Clearinghouse (DoL) Academics, taking into account hiring manager needs – Degree focus – Tuning USA built on Lumina DQP Two Approaches to Competency Specification 33

34 Franklins current Gen. Ed. & Programs OBR Transfer Module (part of Franklins) Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile – Tuning USA degree specification Competency Model Clearinghouse (DoL) Modeled after other schools – Southern New Hampshire University – Western Governors University – Northern Arizona University Existing Competency Frameworks 34

35 What competencies are required of all graduates? (Gen. Ed. structure is redesigned) What competencies are specific to established groups of jobs? (Bus. & Prof. Core) How can the above competencies be structured for delivery within a course structure? How many of the required learning components and assessments already exist? Direct and/or course-based assessment? How can articulation be enabled? Blank-Sheet Program Design 35

36 1.Self-paced modality for courses 2.Expand competencies into assessing higher levels of Blooms Taxonomy 3.Non-credit Integration – multiple pathways to credit 4.Purposeful curriculum development using competencies across the program Summary Multi-phase Pilot Tests 36

37 Hip Pocket slides 37

38 Kentucky Community & Technical College System – Learning Resources Textbook (adaptive learning) fee required in addition to tuition This fee is proportionally split among all publishers based on average student use – Learning & Assessment Credit for prior learning with pre-test passthru to post-test (grade) Authentic assessment (projects & portfolios) – Student Support Extra effort made to ensure student engagement Using for on-demand tutoring, study tools, and study groups (significant impact on learning & retention) Starfish Retention Solutions for advising (improved retention) 38

39 Univ. of Wisconsin system Flexible Option – Rolling out a three month all-you-can-learn term program Subscription model - $9000/year or $900 per competency set – (expected to cover 50% of up-front development expense) A degree is composed of eight to 15 competency sets New 3-month term begins the first of each month 1 to 85 student advising ratio – Direct Assessment – no tie to credit hours – Incorporates Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Assessed via exams, case study analysis, papers, & portfolio review – $8,000,000 initial funding – Failed to get DoED approval for Federal Financial Aid for roll-out Moving toward Experimental Site status 39

40 Capella University (pilot test) – New self-paced modality developed for a few programs – Four to 10 competencies per course plus final assessment – Direct assessment of learning, but not really – open ended term – DoEd waived rules for financial aid – Limited to students of corporate partners – BS Business Admin. & MBA 40

41 UniversityNow – dba Pattern University & New Charter University (not accredited) 1000 students, mainly in Pattern University – Pattern CBE, online, self-paced $350/mo. Undergraduate & $520/mo. Graduate Does not participate in Federal Financial Aid program – Prospective students can sample classes – up to final exam 41

42 Southern New Hampshire Univ. dba College for America cont. – President Paul LeBlanc now spends more time in Washington and at conferences than on campus – 5 year board commitment – $3,500,000 investment last year – Breakeven thought to be 5000 students (500 currently) – Target enrollment of 350,000 by 2018 – Partnering with Kepler University ( to bring low cost ($1000/yr) higher education to Rwanda 42

43 Learning path – student customized – Course pre-assessment of prior learning – Meet with a personal mentor to customize a learning path for the course Mentors are F/T employees who have a graduate degree in field they oversee – Self-paced learning using support material – Competency exam or assessed assignments Western Governors University 43

44 Northern Arizona University – Separate from other programs (Pearson adaptive learning) Design process: existing courses competencies independent, interdisciplinary modules courses for transferability – BS computer information technology & small business admin. – 500 students currently – 8000 in five years to hit breakeven – Considering monthly subscription (currently six months) N o refund once the month starts & financial aid paid at month end – Competency report in addition to traditional transcript – Direct assessment of learning Pre-test to award credit for prior learning Has had some difficulty with accreditation in a few states – Each learning component supported in multiple ways Text, video, exercises, etc. 44

45 In use at Northern Arizona University – Supports direct assessment of competencies – Complements traditional course-based transcript Courses are composed of separate competencies that are taken individually – Serves as a communication device for student use with potential employers Competency Transcript 45

46 Multi-tier – Northern Arizona University – competency is deemed as 86% of mastery – Option to go deeper by doing additional assignments that show higher comprehension More complex application of learning Student differentiation extends to effort expended – However, this increases the time to develop assessments – Competency Transcript describes competency, type of assessment, and level achieved Capella and College of America (SNHU) – Non-performance, basic, proficient, and distinguished – Distinguished level required at graduate level (Capella) Direct Assessment 46

47 Cross-institution Degree Tuning (Competency Alignment) Dr. Ross Wirth

48 Tuning is a collaborative, faculty-driven process that identifies what a student should know and be able to do in a chosen discipline at the completion of a degree by – defining areas of competency – identifying learning outcomes and – scaling competencies and outcomes to a degree level Degree Tuning 48 Source: Institute for Evidence-based Change (IEBC)

49 Tuning is faculty-driven, – With input from employers and students Tuning does not standardize, but – Organizes what is common and accepted Tuning does not require new curriculum, but – Does offer an opportunity to be more intentional Tuning focuses on Learning Outcomes, – Not curricula nor method of delivery Tuning does not all address everything, – Institutional individuality is encouraged Tuning 49

50 Tuning, a faculty-driven response to the Bologna process, is the process of harmonizing higher education programs and degrees by defining student learning outcomes by subject area Tuning – definition 2 50 Source: Tuning Educational Structures USA

51 Purposeful curriculum design that is – Mapped across progressive courses of – Increased rigor and high-impact challenges to – Engage students in more complex levels of achievement Tuning – Objective 51

52 Students gain clear expectations and pathways to degree completion – Elevator speech for why their degree is important for employers – Scaffolding for underrepresented students Aligns coursework with civic, societal, and workforce needs – Provides a response to criticism of higher education Responsiveness to changes in discipline knowledge and its application Aligns higher education institutions Emphasizes life-long learning Faculty enjoy engagement in the discipline Benefits of Tuning 52

53 1.Define the discipline core 2.Map career pathways 3.Consult with stakeholders 4.Hone core competencies and learning objectives 5.Draft degree specifications Tuning Process Components 53

54 Students need – Clarity of what courses are required – How each course relates to their post-college goals (including general education courses) – Understanding of what is needed for success in each course and in their career 54

55 1.Communicate effectively (F-1) 2.Evaluate arguments in a logical fashion (F-2) 3.Employ the methods of inquiry characteristic of natural sciences, social sciences, and the arts and humanities (F-4, 7, & 8) 4.Acquire an understanding of our global and diverse culture and society (F-6) 5.Engage in our democratic society (F-6) OBR Transfer Module 55 (Franklins outcome)

56 Graduates will 1.Communicate effectively (L-2e O-1) 2.Apply logical thinking and critical analysis (L-2a O-2) 3.Apply ethical analysis and reasoning (L-2c) 4.Demonstrate scientific literacy (L-1 O-3) 5.Use mathematical information and processes (L-2d) 6.Reflect on global interdependence as it may relate to personal responsibility and societal obligations (L-4 O-4&5) 7.Recognize, analyze, and evaluate humanities artifacts (L-1 O-3) 8.Apply fundamental concepts, theories, and research methodologies of the social and behavioral sciences into personal, social, and professional contexts (L-1 O-3) Franklins Gen. Ed. Outcomes 56 (Lumina & OBR outcome)

57 1.Broad/Integrative Knowledge (F-4, 7, & 8) 2.Intellectual Skills a)Analytic inquiry (F-2) b)Use of information resources c)Engaging diverse perspectives (F-3) d)Quantitative fluency (F-5) e)Communication fluency (F-1) 3.Applied Learning (F-major) 4.Civic Learning (F-6) 5.Specialized Knowledge (F-major) Lumina Degree Profile 57 (Franklins outcome)

58 Acquiring knowledge and understanding Applying knowledge and understanding Making informed judgments and choices Communicating knowledge & understanding Capacities to continue learning Tuning – Subject Area Reference Points Bologna Process Dublin Descriptors 58

59 Degree Qualifications Profile (Lumina) – Levels of degree rigor – Cross-curriculum general ed competencies Tuning (IEBC & Tuning USA) – Discipline-specific competencies – Driven by faculty, vetted by employers Institution-specific differentiation – Specialized curriculum & methods of delivery Degree Qualifications & Tuning 59 Cross institution

60 1.Collaboration among discipline faculty 2.Facilitation – discussion guided by data 3.Intervention – strategy grounded in data 4.Gauging progress – tracking metrics 5.Lasting change that has continual review and adjustment – Scaling what works, tweaking what needs improvement, & discontinuing the ineffective Evidence-based Change Model 60

61 1 st wave: MN, IN, & UT – Biology, chemistry, physics, history, elementary education, & graphic arts 2 nd wave: TX – Engineering: mechanical, civil, chemical, & bio- medical 2 nd wave: KY – Business (general & marketing), nursing, social work, biology, & elementary education Other states: IL, MO, & community colleges Tuning USA Initiatives 61

62 Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) – Becoming a standard for building competencies Tuning USA & Institute for Evidence-Based Change – Cross-institution degree alignment (Midwest Higher Education Compact) Council for Adult and Experiential Learning – Measuring student learning National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment – Assessment & the DQP (8 OH schools now involved) Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (OECD) – Standardized testing The Bologna Process – Actively involved in cross-institution tuning Institute for Higher Education Policy – US alignment with The Bologna Process CareerOneStop (DoL) – Building workplace competency models To what extent should we be involved? 62

63 The eTextbook is only a repackaged text. What might a new concept textbook be? Next Generation Textbook/Course 63 Intellectual Capital Multi-media Learning Resources Gamification Competency Rubrics Imagine the possibility of building something here? *

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