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Author: Josh Griffith

Educator Pay in a Competency-Based System

August 6, 2012 by

Josh GriffithHow do we pay facilitators (teachers) in a Competency Based System?  This is a question that naturally arises when we begin to focus on a system designed around mastery rather than the time-based Carnegie unit.  Competency Based Education is going to become a reality and grow in support by educators.  When I first began thinking about this question I thought the answer was going to be simple, but after thinking more deeply I begin to find faults and issues with every payment plan I have been able to come up with.  I am hopeful someone else will be able to help me find better solutions.

I just recently finished reading Off the Clock by Fred Bramante and Rose Colby.  It is a great read that I highly recommend to anyone thinking about Competency Based Education or anyone wanting to stretch their educational philosophies.  In this book they bring up the issue of salary in a Competency Based Education System. There is a chance that if learning is completely personalized there will be facilitators who have more learners they are supporting than other facilitators, including, quite possibly learners from other schools.  Do we pay these facilitators on salary, by the hour, by how many learners they are working with, by learner completion of competencies, or some other way that I have not been able to think about yet?  Below, I outline my thoughts, questions, and concerns on each of these methods. (more…)

CBE Student Information Systems, What Do We Want Them To Do?

July 11, 2012 by

Josh GriffithIf 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…)

Is the Creation of Competencies Unnecessary Work?

June 28, 2012 by

Josh GriffithWhat is a competency?  Many people say competencies are what students are to know and be able to do.  If that’s the case, don’t we already have competencies in the Common Core standards?  The standards in the Common Core are what every student is to know and be able to do.  Why are we creating something new by grouping the standards and benchmarks from the Common Core differently?  I have heard a lot of people mention within their blogs and on Twitter the importance of personalizing the learning.  I have also heard that competencies are to be a higher-level than standards and more enduring.  If we begin to group all of the standards and benchmarks from the Core for our students, are we making the system more rigid and allowing for less personalization?

Here’s an idea…  What if we allowed our students to group the standards and benchmarks in a way that makes sense to them, fits their personal interests, and supports their vision of their future?  They would all still have (more…)

Are Colleges Dictating How We Record Student Learning?

May 30, 2012 by

Why do we continue to use grades to record student understanding?  What does a letter tell us about a student’s understanding?  Or does the letter represent understanding at all?  Many of us are guilty of recording things in a grade book just because the student did the work.  It had nothing to do with how much the student understood or was able to do.  There are also students who refused to do the work, but could demonstrate that they understood the material and scrape by with a D or a C.  Are we recording behaviors or learnings?  Should we be recording the two together as one letter grade. (more…)

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