Beyond Seat Time: Competency-Based Education

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1 Beyond Seat Time: Competency-Based Education Jeremy Korr, Ph.D., Brandman University July 10, 2015 LearningHouse.com (502)

2 Overview CBE history CBE s importance now What is CBE? Models and approaches Takeaways and challenges

3 CBE Historical Highlights Late 19 th century acceleration movement/ move at own pace WW II/GI Bill First wave of non-traditional students 1940 s American Council on Education (ACE) Began reviewing trainings and courses of instruction for military

4 CBE Historical Highlights 1) 1970s: Federal funding (Fielding, DePaul, others) 2) WGU in late 1990s Types of prior learning assessments/mastery Evaluation of military and corporate training and coursework Standardized tests (AP, CLEP, DSST Exams Course challenge exams (final exams for course) Student portfolios (Council on Adult & Experiential Learning CAEL)

5 Why now? President Obama s State of the Union Address Performance-based financial aid The President will call on Congress to consider value, affordability and student outcomes in making determinations about which colleges and universities receive access to federal financial aid. (February 12, 2013)

6 Why now? Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan This is a key step forward in expanding access to affordable higher education. We know many students and adult learners across the country need the flexibility to fit their education into their lives or work through a class on their own pace, and these competency-based programs offer those features. (Inside Higher Education, March 19, 2013)

7 National Response: Organizations Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) Launched October Reports or convenings by Council on Adult & Experiential Learning Lumina, Gates, Kresge, Joyce Foundations Public agenda

8 National Response: DOE 1) Institutions in Title IV of Higher Education Act can participate in Experimental Sites 2) DOE Requests for Ideas for Experimental Sites Today, we are asking the public, including the higher education community and others with a stake in a more educated workforce and society, to send us ideas for experimental sites. Such as. Enabling students to earn federal student aid based on how much they learn, rather than the amount of time they spend in class, including through competency-based programs that combine traditional credit-hour and direct assessment of student learning. (Martha Kanter, Undersecretary of Education, and David Soo, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Undersecretary, December 4, 2013)

9 National Response: DOE By early 2015, 40 institutions received DOE invitations to participate in experimental sites CBE models Hybrid CBE/traditional instructional models Prior learning assessment models

10 National Response: DOE and Accreditors June 2015 Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC): common framework for assessing and approving CBE programs (https://www.insidehighered.com/ sites/default/server_files/files/c-rac%20cbe%20statement%20press%20release%206_2.pdf) DOE: Letter to Accreditors (https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/ default/server_files/files/ed%20letter%20to%20accreditors%281%29.pdf)

11 For Whom? Today s Student Cracking the Credit Hour, Amy Laitinen, 2012

12 For Whom? Today s Student Increasing age of students 33% are older than 25 years and the number of older students are increasing faster than younger students Increasing percentage of part-time students 40% of undergraduates attend college part-time College students are working 33% of part-time students work >35 hours per week 43% of undergraduates work part-time

13 For Whom? Today s Student Perspective for attending college 87.9% of incoming college students cite to be able to get a better job as a very important reason for attending college Even traditional online courses create barriers of cost and time

14 For Whom? Today s Employer Innovation is a priority for employers A candidate s capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major

15 For Whom? Today s Employer Employers want colleges to place more emphasis on helping students develop five key learning outcomes in real world settings Critical thinking Complex problem solving Written communication Oral communication Applied knowledge

16 What CBE Is and Is Not The credit hour a. is the best measurement for competency-based learning b. is not at all related to federal financial aid c. is the only reliable way to measure student learning d. was originally designed to assure faculty could qualify for pensions

17 What CBE Is and Is Not Credit hour model based on seat time originally designed to determine faculty pensions and not as a measure of learning. Credit Hour is current basis for awarding financial aid. Competency-based education moves beyond seat-time measures and focuses on learning of skills, knowledge, and abilities. Students demonstrate mastery of competencies through assessment. Can do.

18 What CBE Is and Is Not Transitioning away from seat time, in favor of a structure that creates flexibility, allows students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning. Competency-based strategies provide flexibility in the way that credit can be earned or awarded, and provide students with personalized learning opportunities. -- DOE Competency-based education (CBE) awards academic credit based on mastery of clearly defined competencies. CBE replaces the conventional model in which time is fixed and learning is variable with a model in which the time is variable and the learning is fixed. Educause

19 What CBE Is and Is Not Competency-based education is an evolving delivery model and while there is not yet any widely agreed upon taxonomy of programs or agreed upon nomenclature, generally, CBE programs have very clear claims for student learning, stress what students can do with the knowledge and skills they acquire, and have assessments that provide measurable evidence of competency. Student progress is determined by mastery of each competency. DOE, June 9, 2015, Dear Accrediting Agency Executive Directors

20 What CBE Can Become Direct Assessment (34 CFR ) A direct assessment program is an instructional program that, in lieu of credit hours or clock hours as a measure of student learning, utilizes direct assessment of student learning, or recognizes the direct assessment of student learning by others. --DOE

21 What CBE can be DOE is allowing a limited number of directassessment programs with regional accreditation to offer learners financial aid not based on credit hours. Mapping back to credit hours is not expected for learners to qualify. But the institution must establish a plausible equivalency to credit hours in seeking initial program approval.

22 What CBE can be Six institutions approved by the Department of Education (DOE) for direct assessment Southern New Hampshire University Capella University University of Wisconsin-Extension Brandman University Walden University Texas State College System

23 How CBE Is Structured: Models Brandman University Bachelor of Business Administration Forthcoming: BS in Information Technology Northern Arizona University BA in Computer Information Systems BA in Small Business Administration BA in Liberal Studies Forthcoming: BA/BS Mgmt., MS CIT

24 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Brandman University Private nonprofit Serves working adults In Chapman University system 27 campuses in CA and WA, plus online campus Blended and fully online delivery 7,500 students (FTE) 70 full-time faculty, 1,500 adjunct faculty

25 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Flexibility: Self-paced, self-contained within an app Tuition: $5,400/year, inclusive of digital textbooks Program Design: Backward Design. Competencies derived from O*NET, Lumina DQP, AAC&U LEAP Initiative, and professional certifications Content: Brandman faculty worked with Flat World instructional designers to develop and curate content (e.g., Open Educational Resources) and assessments

26 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Competency Introduction Module (1 month) 13 General Education competencies Business competencies (in BBA degree) Five Institutional Learning Outcomes (based on Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile & AAC&U LEAP) threaded throughout GE and Business competencies Eight terms of six months each Four to seven predetermined competencies within each term

27 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Each competency Objectives (3-6) Topics (3-5) Learning activities (3-5, many options) Assessments (2 Levels, several, Bloombased, practice, self-paced, formative and summative)

28 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Based on Bloom s Taxonomy, designated Level 1 versus Level 2 for each competency Level 1: Objective-based (40%) Level 2 Performance-based (60%)

29 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Summative Assessments: Authentic, engaging projects/students learn by doing Business Develop budget, conduct and document performance appraisal, create project plan, stakeholder analyses, capstone business plan General Education Methods and Applications: Project applying the steps of the scientific method to solving a real world problem. Oral Communications: Full sentence outline, presentation outline, presentation aids, recorded presentation Behavior and Cognition: Personal SWOT analysis including mission statement, long term goals, values, and strengths and weaknesses; applies theories to SWOT and assesses environmental opportunities and threats in meeting mission and goals.

30 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1

31 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Traditional program and CBE Institutional learning outcomes Applied learning Innovation and creativity Civic engagement Global cultures Integrated learning Disciplinary skills Skills within major

32 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Lesson flow Reading and activities After every several elements: Check for Understanding (self-paced, ungraded, multiple-choice; multiple attempts) Final assessment (three attempts; 85%+ to demonstrate mastery)

33 How CBE Is Structured: Model 1 Unbundled faculty model Curriculum developers Program council Assessment council Full-time coaches (advisors) Full-time tutorial faculty (SMEs) Assessment graders (adjunct)

34 How CBE Is Structured: Model 2 Northern Arizona University Personalized learning overview 3 online, self-paced majors; 2 more to follow 2500 for 6-month subscription (priced so a Pell Grant would cover cost) General education requirements constructed in a modular fashion to produce six distinct degree paths (B.A. in Liberal Arts, B.S. in Liberal Arts, etc.)la )

35 How CBE Is Structured: Model 2 ) Student takes approximately 40 courses from Liberal Studies, Language, Minor, and Major Traditional Bachelor Degree Syllabi Deconstruction 40 course syllabi broken down by learning outcomes Competencies identified Interdisciplinary lessons Critical Path aligns lessons from LS, FL, Minor, and Major Competencies and Lessons

36 How CBE Is Structured: Model 2 Unbundled faculty model Lead faculty member for each program Faculty mentor (2 3 per program) Subject matter faculty Graduate assistant graders

37 How CBE Is Structured: Model 2 Lesson flow - Lesson pretest (1 attempt) - Track A: Student passes pretest with 86%+ Receives B on transcript Optional mastery (for A on transcript)

38 How CBE Is Structured: Model 2 Lesson flow - Lesson pretest (1 attempt) - Track B: Student does not get 86%+ on pretest Topic 1, 2, 3... Lesson posttest (multiple attempts) Receives B on transcript Optional mastery (for A on transcript)

39 CBE Takeaways Competency-based education moves beyond seat-time measures and focuses on learning of skills, knowledge, and abilities. Students demonstrate mastery of competencies through assessment. Can do. Does not depend on the credit hour as measure of learning

40 CBE Takeaways Game-changer to learners, faculty, universities, society and employers CBE student learning are highly adaptive and individualized Financial aid can apply (DOE direct assessment) Technology-rich

41 CBE Challenges Significant back office changes + curriculum and assessment redesign = considerable start-up costs New considerations for supporting student success Continuous refinement of policies and initial content Evolving and responsive approach Complementary approach, not panacea

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