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5 Benefits of Competency Based Education for Students Explorance

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B LO G
5 Bene ts of Competency
Based Education for
Students
Written by Gil Gruber, Explorance. October 7, 2018
Competency based learning (http://edglossary.org/competency-basedlearning/) or education (CBE) is not a new trend, but has received much
attention over the past few years as more institutions develop programs. Like
MOOCs (https://explorance.com/2013/10/4-challenges-evaluating-massiveopen-online-courses-moocs/), CBE has gained popularity with learners due to
its exible structure and affordability. As the name suggests, these programs
are based on the development of competencies applicable to a particular career.
What is unique about CBE is that it focuses on what students learn and not on
the time spent in the classroom completing credits. In this approach, students
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(http://www.teachthought.com/learning/what-is-competency-based-learning/)
from Rasmussen College that explains CBE and the differences between it and
traditional education. This leads to the focus of this article where we will
examine the key bene ts of CBE for students including exibility, engagement,
and affordability.
01.
Flexible:
Competency based programs are very exible as their structure depends
on the individual learner. There is no rigid schedule in these programs, no
set semesters and no classes. Instead, students guide their learning and
control when and where they complete projects and assessments. CBE is
also exible in that it allows students to enter a program at any level where
they are given credit for previous experience.
02.
Self-paced:
The focus of CBE is on the nal outcome and not the journey. This enables
students to control their pacing because they are not con ned by a set
learning process. As soon as a student feels they can prove mastery, they
can take an assessment, receive credit and start on the next material.
Moving as slow or fast as they wish, students are able to complete a degree
when they are ready. This is a huge bene t for independent and adult
learners who may be working towards a degree around other schedules.
03.
Engaging:
One of the strongest outcomes of competency based education is
increased student engagement. Students are more engaged in the material
because they have ownership over their learning. They are empowered
because they have control over when, where and how they learn. CBE also
promotes individualized learning and accommodates a variety of learning
styles, making it a truly personalized experience. This experience increases
engagement because content is tailored to each student and more
relevant.
04.
Affordable:
The cost of competency based programs varies by institution, program and
student pace. Many institutions have created CBE programs precisely as a
strategy to increase learning and to lower the cost of education. In many
institutions, the tuition depends on how long it takes a student to complete
a degree. The faster a learner progresses through the material, the less
expensive the program is. Since many CBE programs are offered online and
leverage technology, operating costs are eliminated resulting in lower
tuition fees.
05.
Skills-based:
One of the key bene ts of CBE is that learning centers on real-world skills
and competency development. Programs are designed around
competencies that are needed for a particular career ensuring that the
material is relevant. The outcome is that students are workplace ready and
have expertise in their chosen elds. For many students, CBE is a direct
path to a successful career. Employees also value CBE and according to a
recent article on Western Governors University’s (WGU) competency
program graduates “98 percent of employers with WGU graduates would
hire more of our students” (JCUonline
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