What Is Competency Based Education?

 

Question: What is Competency Based Education?

 

Answer: Education that evaluates students on whether they can consistently perform relative to specific skills/knowledge/attitudes defined from the practice setting.

 

The chart below contrasts traditional professional and vocational education approaches with a Competency Based Education model.

 

TRADITIONAL

APPROACH

 

PERFORMANCE BASED

APPROACH

 

Curriculum

 

Curriculum

 

Curriculum derived from expertise of instructors and texts. Divorced from real-life practice setting or behind current needs.

____________________________

 

?When I arrived at the clinic, I had to take what I learned in school and throw it out the window. Then I rolled up my sleeves and learned how to really do my job.?

 

Curriculum derived in part from job task analysis developed by high performing practitioners. It is grounded in real-life practice settings--it?s up-to-the-minute. Cc

________________________________

?No one knows a job better than the people who do it.

 

Learner?s Expectations

Learner?s Expectations

Instructional objectives: Vague objectives developed by instructor.

 

Performance criteria: Detailed specifications of ?what does the performance/competency look like when it is being done well?,? developed primarily by veteran health workers and supervisors.

Evaluation

Evaluation

Evaluation is usually based on knowledge, often measured by memorization of written facts.

 

Evaluation is based on performance measured using outcome performance criteria. (Example: role play scenarios for evaluation of competencies)

The Results

 

The Results

 

A knowledgeable learner.

____________________________

 

?She was a straight ?A? student, but she just couldn?t hold a job in our clinic.?

 

Competent practitioner.

________________________________

 

?The student?s performance exam results showed us that she could do the job and do it well.?

 

Individual Progress

Individual Progress

 

Lock-step: All learners progress through pre-set class requirements at the same rate and sequence.

Flexible and needs-based. Consistent results guaranteed by ability to perform critical competencies. Learning made much more efficient because:

 

Experienced practitioners can verify competency and only take what they need;

 

Learners can tap into many learning modes and locations: self-study ?merit badges,? on-the-job learning, etc.