Educational Theories,  Podcast,  Teaching & Learning

Transform Your Teaching: Designing Competency-Based Education Curriculum

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In this episode, Dr. Rob McDole and Jared Pyles continue talking about Competency-Based Education, specifically what the design process looks like in developing a CBE course. Check out this episode to hear about the different considerations when creating a CBE course and how that affects planning. 

Podcast links

Show notes

Designing a Competency-Based Education (CBE) course is similar to designing a traditional course.  The goal is still to design with the end in mind—paying close attention to the course objectives and module objectives, how the assessments give students the opportunity to show mastery of the objectives, and the course content that prepares them for those assessments. The difference, however, lies in how an instructor creates the modules within the course. The course design is based on content rather than on time. 

Another difference is that CBE curriculum is not as concerned about the prior knowledge of students as traditional curriculum is. Instead, CBE curriculum focuses on identifying the learner’s knowledge when they begin the course (through a pretest or placement exam) and providing resources to help them at their level of understanding. This does require more work at the beginning because the instructor must consider the kinds of resources necessary to meet the needs of all learners. 

Because CBE curriculum aims at mastery of content, the assessments rely on key performance indicators. CBE courses could be designed so that assessments and content unlock for students once they demonstrate mastery of existing content and assessments to allow for a structured, learning path.  

Challenges: An implicit desire to fit things into a time-bound system. 

Homework: Take one module of a course and redesign it in a CBE format. Use technology to lock materials until the student shows mastery of previous content.  


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