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Competency-Based Curriculum Development


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This presentation defines competencies and competency-based curricula (CBC), describes the benefits of CBC, and details seven steps to developing CBC. Meant for educators and managers, it covers: identifying and defining competencies, establishing rubrics for performance, outlining and practicing learning methods, assessing performance, and evaluating, refining, and repeating the process.

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Competency-Based Curriculum Development

  1. 1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 How to build COMPETENCY- BASED Curricula in seven simple steps: an alternative approach Simon Priest
  2. 2. COMPETENCY A collection of trainable • skill, • knowledge, • ability, • behavior, • attitude, • aptitude, • confidence, • experience, • talent, and • proficiency combined to do jobs, complete tasks, perform roles, and/or reach objectives Competencies may or may NOT include values, morals, ethics, beliefs, attributes, qualities, or other more personal characteristics CBC or Competency-Based CURRICULUM A sequence of learning experiences that effectively develop critical and core competencies necessary to meet the goals and/or wishes of a sponsoring organization or institution Curricula may or may NOT include diagnosed needs, learning objectives, course content, an instructor, support services, learning resources, instruction methods, assessment methods, performance expectations, and graduation requirements
  3. 3. WHY CBC? CONSIDERATIONS: • Fits best with learning performance and not time spent studying (credit hours) • Targeted to learning (only what you need and when you need it) • Learning is individually planned, contracted & pursued/practiced with personalized frameworks in flexible schedules / times • Addresses key goals of the CBC sponsoring organization or institution • Motivation from instant merits • Recognizes / rewards prior learning (assess what you already hold and concentrate on mastering new) • Provides clear path to progress & accountability for learner & sponsor • Great for mature self-paced learners who can learn independently of teachers Do-It-Yourself: Not a Panacea! Not suited to all learning processes or disciplines
  4. 4. 1 2 3 4 5 67 Identify General Competency Areas Define Specific Competencies (in each area) Establish Criteria for Performance (for each competency) Outline Acceptable Learning Methods Practice Learning Methods (with live learners) Assess Performance (of each competency) Evaluate, Refine, Repeat To improve the CBC, make the seven steps CYCLIC by evaluating your progress, refining your competencies on the run, and repeating the cycle after each use or iteration KEEP A FUTURE FOCUS: don’t waste time examining the past; look at what is needed now and what will be required in the far future ASSUMES ULTIMATE OBJECTIVES ARE ALREADY FULLY KNOWN BY SPONSOR
  5. 5. Identify General Competency Areas EXAMPLE: 10 Managerial Competency Areas Using a wide variety of sources for information and techniques to collect it, identify the general competency areas. Managers are expected to be competent at valuing, thinking, communicating, managing, leading, changing, facilitating, and developing teams, others, and oneself. Multiple SOURCES: job descriptions, high performing employees, their supervisors, dissatisfied employers, subject matter experts, existing key performance indicators, online blogs, textbooks, articles, and other resources Multiple TECHNIQUES: free conversation, structured interview, focus group, survey, delphi consensus, reading, and observation Outcome: ROAD MAP of 8-12 competency areas 1
  6. 6. Research Example in Public DomainBLUErepresentstheoriginal56competencies(1996) REDrepresentsthe44additionalcompetencies(1997) 100specificcompetencies in10competencyareas
  7. 7. Define Specific Competencies EXAMPLE: one competency from Communicating area… …with sample definition for the specific competency of PUBLIC SPEAKING: the act of performing an organized presentation to motivate, entertain, educate, and/or influence a live audience Outcome: DICTIONARY of 5-15 competencies/area.…100 competencies; 10 areas 2 Again, using multiple techniques to access multiple sources, define specific competencies within each general area. Exercise accuracy in generating these definitions, since building more precise descriptions will make next steps easier. To fully define a competency, reflect on the depth and breadth of its composing elements. For the public speaking example, consider DELIVERY (voice, body language & artifacts) and CONTENT (organization, persuasion, language, supporting materials, slides & general) as in the next sample. Include both the HOW & WHY of the definition. HOW: performance of the competency (speaking) WHY: reason / end result (to persuade audience).
  8. 8. Sample content source used to define Adaptedfrom Exceptionally thorough & detailed list of PUBLIC SPEAKING elements from an excellent rubric generator
  9. 9. Establish Criteria for Performance EXAMPLE: Public Speaking given this definition, criteria must cover “performing,” “organized” and “motivate, entertain, educate, and/or influence” as well as key elements of delivery, body language, content, etc. 3 Excellent High Expert Good Above Av. Master Poor Average Proficient Bad Below Av. Intermediate Low Beginner NoviceOutcome: RUBRIC with 4-6 levels/competency...…….…TERMS For each competency, create the standards by which competence will be measured. Describe several levels of possible performance that hallmark positive and negative competence. Label these levels with your choice of terms. 3 each = all 3 components clear; within time limit; exceptionally organized content captures attention; does not rely on notes; movements enhance demonstration; voice inflection keeps audience engaged 2 each = 2 out of 3 content components clear; just in time; well organized; uses notes for direction and guidance only; gestures useful for articulation; voice projects well with audience paying attention 1 each = 1 out of 3 content clear; past time limit; adequately organized; relies on notes frequently; very little movement or gestures; voice shows limited inflection with audience distracted 0 each = 0 out of 3 clear; well outside time limit; disorganized; reads notes aloud, no movement or gestures; voice is monotone with audience disengaged and bored
  10. 10. Sample Rubrics (not Rubik’s) content/uploads/2010/11/Pages- from-103-information-packet.jpg phpapp02/95/persuasive-speech-rubric-1-638.jpg?cb=1373670474 http://mendozaalbert1971.blogsp
  11. 11. Outline Acceptable Learning Methods EXAMPLE: Public Speaking Toastmasters, debate club, formal course, online video, PODcast audio, free MOOCs, reading advice column/blog, professional coaching, and other free oratory groups Outcome: LIST of 5+ methods/competency………..…Learner chooses method 4 Once more, using your imagination and multiple techniques to access multiple sources, generate a list of acceptable learning methods: how many different ways could the competence be learned? Using your imagination should be like a brain- storming exercise, where ideas are accepted without evaluation. Record everything and let the learners decide what works best for them. Be open to learner suggested learning methods. Avoid imposing your own preferences on them. Ineffective methods will either not be selected by learners or will be removed in the next step.
  12. 12. Practice Learning Methods EXAMPLE: Written Contract “I am going to learn competency using method from source in location by date because reason” (substitute for underlined words) Outcome: REVISED LIST of methods that work........Learner gaining competence 5 When learners are ready to gain new competence, they strike a contract with the CBC sponsoring organization or institution through its delegate. The contract can be very simple (see opposite) or complex as decided by CBC sponsor or delegate. Learners practice to acquire their competencies and give feedback on the merits of each method. On the basis of this feedback, revise the list and rank order the methods from those most likely to those least likely to elicit learning a competency. Obviously, those methods that are not working will become apparent when learners are either not ready to be assessed or are found deficient.
  13. 13. Assess Performance EXAMPLE: 100 Managerial Competencies in 10 areas Outcome: Assessment SCORE value/competency..……100 scores; 10 averages Passport Matrix = Pass or Fail Scorecard = Percentages or Grades 6 When learners are fully ready to demonstrate a particular competency, they will arrange to perform it for a final assessment. In the public speaking example, they would present a speech. Assess competence performance by measuring with the earlier RUBRIC. To prevent the error of a single observer, use multiple assessors (peers, guest experts, etc.) and average their scores. Determine whether an averaged score is good enough to consider that competency attained. Choose to record final assessment scores as either pass/fail (by stamping a passport matrix) or percentage/grades (by using the raw scores).
  14. 14. Evaluate, Refine & Repeat EXAMPLE: once the “program” was launched in 1997, the 56 original managerial competencies were expanded to 100 (and areas grew from 8 to 10, with one area split in two and another new area added) Yearly changes continued over the next two decades Outcome: IMPROVEMENTS to the curriculum…….…Continue with the CBC…. 7 Experience is a great teacher. As a curriculum gets used and learners begin to develop their competence in various areas, lots of changes will be likely. Evaluate a curriculum’s efficacy to deliver competence, refine it to better meet goals and wishes as required, and then repeat the 7 steps to ensure ongoing effectiveness. REFINEMENT: two or more competencies may be combined into one, while another competency might be divided into several others. The same may be necessary for competency areas as some competencies will shift from one area to another. KEEP A FUTURE FOCUS and review the currency of your CBC due to changes on an annual basis. 1 2 3 4 5 67
  15. 15. Questions?