What Is Competency-Based Learning? | TeachThought

Competency-based learning is an educational approach which emphasizes the mastery of skills by students instead of their knowledge. It has been applied to fields such as health care, law, business and online teaching in recent years.

Competency-based learning is a pedagogical approach that focuses on the development of an individual’s abilities and knowledge. This philosophy has its roots in modern education, but was originally established by Swiss psychologist Kurt Lewin during World War II.

Competency-based learning is a teaching methodology that focuses on the knowledge and skills students need to be successful in their careers. It breaks down the entire curriculum into “competencies.” These are broad, general skills that can be applied to many different situations. This allows educators to focus on what students need to know rather than how they should learn it.

What is competency-based learning?

TeachThought Staff

What is competence based learning? Competence-based learning is an educational approach that places the learner’s demonstration of the desired learning outcomes at the centre of the learning process.

The point is for the learner to progress through the curriculum at their own pace, depth, etc. As skills are confirmed, participants make progress. It is similar to mastery-based learning, the only difference being that competency-based learning often focuses on observable skills or competencies, whereas mastery-based learning can be academic in nature and focuses on concepts rather than skills.

As with most things related to education, there is disagreement about what competency-based learning actually entails, what its characteristics are, and how it should ideally be used or function. It is traditionally considered in terms of skills and vocation, but can also be purely academic.

Characteristics of competence-based learning

An important feature of competence-based learning is the emphasis on mastery. In other learning models, students learn the content, whether skills or concepts, over time, and their success is assessed summatively. In a competence-based learning system, learners may not proceed until they have demonstrated mastery of specific competences (i.e. the desired learning outcomes that need to be demonstrated). The definition of competence based learning is thus closely related to mastery based learning.

Competency-based learning is similar to outcome-based learning in that the specified outcomes – in this case competencies – are defined in advance and students are often assessed. Competency-based learning can thus be seen as a form of result-oriented learning.

See also 21st Century Teacher’s Dictionary

Advantages and disadvantages of competence based education

Its effectiveness obviously depends on the ecology in which it is embedded. In a system with deep and diverse support systems, robust forms of assessment, and clear, manageable learning outcomes that are accessible to all students, competency-based learning can be an effective model that potentially reduces inefficiencies (including time spent on instruction) and increases instructional rigor and student success.

Its strength lies in its flexibility, as students can develop at their own pace. This supports learners with different levels of knowledge, literacy and other skills. Most educators will be familiar with the challenges, such as the difficulty of identifying and agreeing how best to assess key skills and how best to support struggling students.

On paper, technology puts a new spin on competency-based learning by giving students access to content to develop those skills. When every student has access to the same content as the teacher, the class does not have to be as cohesive and students can demonstrate their understanding in a more personal and authentic way.

What is competency-based learning; source infographic – Rasmussen College.

Competency-based learning is a teaching strategy that combines “learning objectives, content knowledge, and skills” to provide students with the ability to demonstrate their mastery of a subject. The competency-based learning ppt is an example of this teaching strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of competency based learning?

A: Competency-based learning is an approach to education that builds on outcomes instead of inputs, meaning the focus of curriculum is more about what students are able to do rather than what they know. This type of pedagogy views knowledge as a set of skills and behaviors required for success in different occupations or activities.

What is the meaning of competency based?

A: Competency-based learning is a type of instructional system that provides students with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to become self-directed learners.

Why is competency based learning good?

A: Competency-based learning is good because it creates an environment where students are able to show their mastery of subject material. This leads to greater understanding and allows for deeper content that can be explored through different lenses, which ultimately facilitates both individual self-development as well as collaborative work within the classroom.

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