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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
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MIT Course Staff


Justin Reich (edX username: JustinReich) is the executive director of the Teaching Systems Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research scientist in the MIT Office of Open Learning, and an assistant professor in the MIT Department of Comparative Media Studies. He is also the co-founder of EdTechTeacher, a professional learning consultancy devoted to helping teachers leverage technology to create student-centered, inquiry-based learning environments. He wrote the EdTechResearcher blog for Education Week, and his writings have appeared in Science, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Educational Researcher, the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, the Christian Science Monitor, and other publications.


Liz (edX username: LizHL) is a Digital Learning Lab Fellow with the MIT Office of Open Learning. She develops and manages massive open online courses (MOOCs) pertaining to education and educational technology. She enjoys engaging with learners all over the world and creating meaningful online educational experiences. Previously, she was an Instructional Developer for the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. While at Gordon-MIT, she collaborated with the company AMD to create a text-based simulation related to engineering leadership. Prior to her time at MIT, Elizabeth worked at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She holds a B.A. in Government from Claremont McKenna College and an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Kelley (edX username: kmhirsch) develops MOOCS for educators, school leaders, and administrators. She has previously developed small private online courses with Harvard Business School Online, and has created in-person and digital learning experiences for museum visitors of all ages. She holds a B.A. in Classical Archaeology and Art History from Macalester College and an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Abby (edX username: amachson) develops MOOCs for educators in MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab (TSL). Previously, she developed universally-designed teaching tools at, and created in-person and online writing courses at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Pomona College in California, an M.F.A. in creative writing from UMass Boston, and a graduate certificate in instructional design from UMass Boston.

Non-MIT Course Staff


Ben Owens (edX username: engineerteacher) spent 20 years as an engineer in industry before becoming a math and physics teacher at Tri-County Early College High School in Murphy, North Carolina, USA. He left the classroom in 2018 to become an Open Way Learning consultant with schools around the world. Ben was the recipient of the 2017 Bridging the Gap Distinguished Teaching Award in STEM Education by the North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research, is a Hope Street Group Skilling America Distinguished Fellow, and the co-author of Open Up, Education! How Open Way Learning Can Transform Schools.


Video Producers: Garrett Beazley and FreshCognate (Aimee Corrigan, Denez McAdoo, Daymian Mejia, Doug Pietrzak) 

Music composed by Zev Burrows

Key Team Members at MITx: Brad Kay Goodman, Sarah Davis, & Shelly Upton