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CAEL Pathways Blog

Report From the Field - And Framework for Thinking about CBE Design

Competency-Based EducationCompetency-based education (CBE) is the 'hot new thing' in higher ed - but as CAEL has learned from our work with 18 institutions and 3 systems in our CBE Jumpstart Initiative, it's important to understand what CBE programs are and the complexities of program development before launching full steam ahead. Regardless of whether you want to do a 'hybrid' program that combines self-paced options with traditional courses and PLA (Prior Learning Assessment), or a full Direct Assessment approach, there are many design considerations that your planning team needs to address.

Recently, Public Agenda produced a new resource for institutions that showcases the various design elements of CBE and shares information from a large national survey of CBE programs that identify some of the more popular and emerging practices. (Full disclosure: CAEL was a 'thought partner' in the Gates Foundation funded initiative that conducted the survey and produced the report.)

In addition, the project created an interactive design tool for institutions to use in their initial thinking through of their own design elements. 

These kinds of tools are a good start for helping new CBE programs develop.

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