In competency-based learning, or competency-based education (CBE), each concept or standard is considered one single unit. Students learn one at a time with mastery as the goal. This method ensures that students learn foundational skills that are necessary to understand and learn more complex concepts.

The Aurora Institute defines CBE to include the following:

  • Students have individual learning pathways, with varied pacing based on progress based on evidence of mastery instead of seat time.

  • Students learn actively using different schema and varied pacing based on individual needs and goals.

  • Students see assessment as a meaningful, positive, and empowering learning experience, with timely, relevant, and actionable feedback.

  • Students are provided with common, rigorous expectations for learning (knowledge, skills, and dispositions) that are explicit, transparent, measurable, and transferable.

Other benefits to CBE include an alignment to learner-centered practices such as peer tutoring, a positive school culture, flexible scheduling, and often an innovative approach to Response-to-Intervention plans. All these efforts demand a commitment to collaboration among all in the learning community.

Classworks offers support to CBE efforts in many ways. Skill competency is assessed through customized assessments as well as monitored through formative assessment built into each skill unit. Individualized learning is informed for each student using competency-based assessments, making sure that students master early competencies within the Classworks learning Progression to prepare them for more complex concepts as they work through the progression.

Students receive feedback as they move through individualized instruction at their own pace. Motivation is high as they earn trophies, shields, and characters. Students track their progress using their My Scores dashboard and track goals using the Classworks Goal Tracker. The combination of competency-based assessment, individualized learning, real-time data, and feedback combine to provide ideal support for your CBE initiative.

The following Classworks assessments, combined with individualized skill-based learning, support teachers and students in reaching their CBE goals:

Custom Assessments

Custom assessments are created based on specific competencies and allow teachers to see exactly where students stand within each standard while assigning students skills they still need to master. The assessments are used as a pre and post test and reports show student growth between administrations.

Skills Snapshots

The Skills Snapshot Assessment enables teachers to assess student competency by skill and then further monitor student mastery of each skill. After initial testing, all skills are listed out on the Mastery Measurement Report as either Mastered Skills or Remaining Skills (to be mastered) for each student. The assessment assigns students instruction to address the Remaining skills. As students work, mastery is tracked and the list adjusts as students add to their mastered skills. Teachers monitor the Remaining Skills list to inform small group instruction and additional tutoring a student may need.

Unit Scores

Skill units in Classworks include a competency-based formative assessment. This Quick Quiz serves as the unit score to denote mastery of each skill. Students receive immediate feedback of all scores. Teachers may reassign unmastered instruction as part of student conferencing to review data, reteach and set goals with students. Classworks real-time data allows teachers to interact with student data, launch and review activities, and take action as needed while reviewing scores with students.

For documentation, Teachers often utilize the Assignments Results Report for a detailed look at skill mastery.

Following the principles of competency-based learning ensures students learn the skills they need to build a solid foundation for more complex ideas and concepts. Classworks complements your CBE efforts with strong competency-based assessments, individualized learning for each student and the data teachers need to make informed decisions for optimal student success.

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