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Competency-Based Education: The Why, What, and How

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  1. Unit 0: What is Competency-Based Education?
    5 Topics
  2. Unit 1: Why Competency-Based Education?
    13 Topics
    1 Quiz
  3. Unit 2: Competency-Based Education in the Classroom
    10 Topics
  4. Unit 3: Considering Competency-Based Education Systems
    10 Topics

To begin, let’s first look at what competency-based education is with our first video. Here, Instructor Justin Reich, Director of the Teaching Systems Lab and faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), explains what competency-based education (CBE) is by presenting some characteristic elements and considering aspects that are especially variable. He also shares some objectives for the course. We have summarized key ideas from this video in a one-page document

As you watch, keep the following questions in mind. 

  • If you have encountered competency-based education before, does the definition seem to align with what you have heard or experienced?
  • Justin explains that the definition of a competency may vary (3:18). Can you think of another educational approach and/or innovation where there is great variation in how it is defined?

Social Media

We encourage you to share your learning in whatever online networks you participate in. 

Those of you who are active on Twitter can follow us @MoocsTsl and share what you are learning in this course with the #cbemooc hashtag. Bookmark our advanced Twitter search, which shows results from several CBE-related hashtags (#competencyEd,  #competencybaseded, #masterylearning, #masteryEd, #competencyeducation and #proficiencybased). We have also created a course Facebook page, @CBEMOOC, for Facebook users to connect with each other. One advantage of participating in these networks is that they allow you to make connections and share your learning with your local community and other networks. 

As always, whenever you share on social media, be thoughtful about how your posts will be received by colleagues and community, and be sure to follow local norms, rules, and guidelines.