Feds give nudge to competency-based education: Beyond the Credit Hour

March 28, 2013 at 1:07 am 2 comments

Of all the open learning movement initiatives, this may be the most important.  The credit hour is a poor measure of learning-attained.  It’s too large a grain size to be important as a measure of instruction.  Moving to competencies (whatever that may end up being) is a move in the right direction, in terms of facilitating our ability to measure the amount of learning and the amount of teaching effort involved in an education program.

The U.S. Department of Education has endorsed competency-based education with the release today of a letter that encourages interested colleges to seek federal approval for degree programs that do not rely on the credit hour to measure student learning.

Department officials also said Monday that they will give a green light soon to Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America, which would be the first to attempt the “direct assessment” of learning – meaning no link to the credit hour – and also be eligible for participation in federal financial aid programs.

via Feds give nudge to competency-based education | Inside Higher Ed.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bri Morrison  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Interesting. Given that federal loans are based upon credit hours the student completes, how would that transfer to competencies? And given that most degree level competencies are completed in the final 2 years of study, how do we assess / account for the learning in the first 2 years? I’m all for final comprehensive exams (and even credit by exam for courses) but this appears to be opening Pandora’s box with respect to everything else that is tied to credit hours. Transfer credits / competencies? Hmph.

  • 2. Competency-Based Education and Me. | disrupt learning!  |  April 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    […] Feds give nudge to competency-based education: Beyond the Credit Hour (computinged.wordpress.com) […]


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