September 4, 2012 by Chris Sturgis
I’m a TQM-freak. I admit it. I think Total Quality Management and continuous improvement is just the best management practice ever developed. So I distinctly remember the moment ten years ago when I realized the power of competency education when the great team at the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School walked me through their management reports.
By tracking the progress of students mastering learning objectives in their management information systems, YWLCS could generate two powerful sets of reports. In addition to individual learning progression for each student, YWLCS would generate:
Exception Reports: By knowing which students haven’t yet mastered specific competencies, YWCLS can organize groups of students to work with specialists in the classroom or afterschool or Saturday programs for extra help. This allows teachers and the school to organize supports and opportunities during the semester rather delaying interventions. (more…)
July 11, 2012 by Josh Griffith
If you could build a student information system for a Competency Based Learning System what would it be able to do? I have been thinking a lot about this lately and have been wondering if there is something out there that will do everything we need. Or does something new need to be built? Below I outline everything that I would like to see in a student information system.
1) Log progress and mastery of standards, benchmarks, and competencies.
I say progress because it would be great to see what standards, benchmarks, and competencies a learner is currently working on as well as how long they have been working on them. It would be nice to see a percentage bar notifying what percentage of the standards or benchmarks have been completed for a competency or course. With the inclusion of a percentage bar it would make it much easier to see when a student is struggling because they have stopped making progress. It would also be nice to have a time stamp indicating when they started working on those specific standards, benchmarks, and/or competencies. (more…)
May 31, 2012 by Heather Staker
A decade ago states might have struggled to imagine the data system they would need to support the transition from a seat-time to competency-based education structure for K-12 students. But over the past several years, an unconventional post-secondary institution has invented just such a system from scratch. Its pioneering work offers a powerful design template for K-12 technology leaders at the state level to follow.
Western Governors University (WGU) enrolled its first 30 students in 1999. Today it has over 30,000 students and an annual growth rate of roughly 30 percent for the past 5 years. Its model is unique; students learn completely online and graduate as soon as they have mastered the required competencies in their degree plans. No lecture halls, no attendance records, no homework—just a series of assessments to verify specific competencies.
A few years after its launch, WGU began implementing a complex information system to manage the enormous amount of data required to test and track competencies among thousands of students. (more…)