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5 Ways Courseware Supports Competency-Based Instruction

5 Ways Courseware Supports Competency-Based Instruction

According to the Aurora Institute, competency-based education is an educator-led reform based on the concept that learning progress is best measured by demonstrated skill mastery rather than time spent in the classroom.

Competency-based learning, a form of personalized learning, allows students to flexibly learn at their own pace and continue forward only when they can successfully show they have mastered academic content, regardless of when and where they learn. To provide this flexibility in learning, schools have found success using online curricula to help students receive the content they need at the personalized pace that’s right for them.

In this post, we’ll discuss why Courseware, Edmentum’s standards-aligned digital curricula, is a great resource to facilitate competency-based instruction in the classroom.

Offers tailored learning content

When students begin working on a unit in Courseware, they’ll often be prompted to take a unit pretest, which helps exempt them from core content they’ve already mastered. These exemptions help tailor the learning content in each unit so that students only encounter activities, practice questions, and unit mastery tests associated with concepts they have yet to learn—helping them focus their attention on filling in knowledge gaps. All the content that students are exempted from via unit pretests appears again in end-of-semester tests to ensure that students truly understand all concepts before they’re able to move on from the course. 

Provides built-in formative assessments and feedback

As students work through their content in Courseware, they’ll encounter checkpoint quizzes where they’ll be asked to show that they can prove they understand what they’re currently learning. Students will receive immediate feedback on whether they get the checkpoint answer right or wrong and an explanation of the correct answer. The consistent feedback students receive from these built-in formative assessments helps them improve their knowledge base so that they can later apply that knowledge into future projects, essays, and, ultimately, summative assessments.

Enables learning anytime, anywhere

Just like not all students learn at the same pace, not all students learn best during the same standard school hours. Competency-based learning is flexible in that progress is based on students’ ability to demonstrate knowledge and mastery, wherever and whenever that happens to take place. As a result, competency-based instruction, paired with a digital curriculum, allows students to learn from anywhere (the classroom, their home, etc.) during the time frames in which they happen to learn best. This helps them take ownership of their learning and build upon their time-management skills.

Boosts student engagement

An additional benefit of allowing students to learn at their own pace is that they’re more likely to remain engaged with what they’re learning. If the pace is too fast, they can feel lost, and if the pace is too slow, they can become bored. But, if the pace is just right, students can take the time they need to make sense of new concepts without feeling the pressure to speed up or slow down to match the pacing of their classmates.

Empowers teachers to spend more time on effective instructional interactions

While students make progress in their Courseware courses, instructors can monitor pacing, progress, and performance in real-time to quickly pinpoint which students are on, above, or below pace. With this information, instructors can then dedicate more class time to effective instructional interactions with their students, such as additional one-on-one time and small-group instruction. Instant access to valuable student data helps instructors address students’ learning gaps early on so that students can get back on track to reaching their educational goals.

Interested in learning more positives about competency-based learning? Check out our blog post on Competency-Based Ways to Show Grace in Virtual Learning​!