HBR Article on Competency-Based Education

This week I took a deep dive into the world of competency-based education.

The article that spurred this on is The Real Revolution in Online Education isn’t MOOCs by Michelle Wiese in the Harvard Business Review.

I have a background in this type of learning because this is the type of education that I received in the Navy while becoming a nuclear power plant operator. After the Navy, the company I work for used the same type of learning system to teach me how to become a grid operator.

While my experience with competency-based learning was workplace-centered, the online educational trend described in this article has to do with online college learning.

In a competency-based education online degree program students are freed from the “classroom” model. Instead, students are assigned projects that they must master to prove that they have the skills described in the master skill set that defines the degree.

This type of learning can make job candidate searching really easy for a human resources department than traditional letter grades and credit hours can. This is because the traditional letter grades and credit hours do not accurately describe what someone knows, what they’ve done, or what they can do – instead, the traditional measurements only show what classes they took and how long they sat in the class.

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