- Writing for eSchool News, Learner-Centered Initiatives Senior Consultant Angela Di Michele Lalor details steps schools and districts can take to adjust curriculum in a way that embraces a more competency-based learning format.
- To get started, administrators should ensure that curriculum clearly identifies standards and the competencies relevant to them, and that those standards and their related competencies are placed strategically and given additional focus throughout the curriculum.
- Additionally, the curriculum must guarantee that competencies are strongly tied to learning experiences, in addition to making tools and resources available that enable the clear documentation of student learning.
While competency-based learning has largely seen its star rise in higher education, it has also become increasingly popular in the K-12 space as educators look to redefine learning metrics beyond things like traditional credit hours tied to seat time. Similar to personalized learning, the model advances students based on their ability to demonstrate content mastery rather than the amount of time they've spent engaging with that content overall, allowing them to progress at the pace best-suited for them.
Ultimately, the idea can help students foster and retain a love of learning, regardless of whether they're considered high- or low-achieving. In the case of high-achieving students, for example, they can spend the time they would have otherwise spent continuing to drill the same information they already understand on learning something entirely new. Those who are struggling, meanwhile, can then benefit from more one-on-one assistance from educators.
Of course, as has been noted before, administrators must also consider the additional demands more active learning approaches like a competency-based model can place on educators and ensure the necessary supports are in place to prevent burnout.