Designing various components of competency-based curriculum is largely about creating varied opportunities for students that allow them to demonstrate important skills in authentic contexts.
Let’s start with what is competency-based curriculum!
Competency-based learning is a well-known educational strategy that places a strong emphasis on students demonstrating their desired learning outcomes as the core of the overall learning process. A student progresses through the curriculum (as their competencies are demonstrated) at their own rate, pace, depth, and other similar criteria.
A competency-based model of curriculum design places more emphasis on the multiple complex outputs of a learning process, such as skills, knowledge, and attitudes to be applied by learners, rather than only on what students are expected to acquire in terms of traditionally defined topic matter.
The process of competency-based curriculum design typically involves the following steps ;
1.Development or identification of general competencies
When creating this type of curriculum, the first step is to identify and map the general competency areas utilising a variety of information sources and data collection methods. These skills provide a framework for creating a curriculum and evaluating performance that is based on particular performance outcomes.
Subject area experts, top students, teachers, online textbooks, articles, and other resources are some examples of the sources you can use. You can employ a variety of methods, such as focus groups, surveys, readings, and observations.
Despite the fact that every student has a distinct collection of capabilities, these competence maps are typically made by watching and speaking with top students so that their performance may be summarised as a set of key competencies (knowledge and skills).
2. Organizing competencies into specific themes
The next stage is to specify specific competencies within each broad category. The subsequent steps in the curriculum building process will be considerably simpler if an exact and precise description has been created.
Think carefully about the components of a competency before attempting to define it completely. For instance, while public speaking, take into account both substance (language, persuasion, organisation) and delivery (body language, voice).
Consider the following inquiries to assist you in aligning your goals with a competency-based curriculum at this time:
What are the broad advantages of competency-based learning and why are these important?
What are the specific benefits it can offer your institution?
What are some of the unique goals of your institution around this?
How will you measure the success of this initiative for your institution?
What is the content required to support the development of the specific competency in the curriculum?
What are the instructional strategies and methods that are most effective in developing the competency?
3. Establishing criteria for performance
Create standards or rubrics to use as a baseline for measuring each competency. At this stage, be sure to establish various levels of both positive and negative competence. Finding out what works and what doesn't for the students can help you evaluate the curriculum's effectiveness.
4. Creating learning experiences
After defining competencies and objectives criteria, consider how students will show these skills through learning experiences. There are numerous methods to demonstrate these abilities, so make sure the assessment's end products—the students' work—are fascinating and varied.
Looking closely at the work that students generate and the learning environment in which they do it is the optimal way to identify a competency-based learning experience. For instance, teachers and students reflect on learning regularly and openly using the stated competencies and outcomes.
The purpose of this is to enable students to become true learning designers. Give them the authority to organise, carry out, and present their work for evaluation while letting them use the rubric to create a learning experience where they can show the learning outcomes.
5. Assessing competency
Students will be able to apply and execute information, skills, and talents sought by the industry at large with the use of a successful competency-based curriculum.
There is a need for a structured procedure to link KSAs to evaluation in order to close this gap between industry and academia. Two crucial questions, including the following, must be answered while evaluating competencies:
By the completion of the programme, have the pupils developed the required competencies?
If so, did the programme contribute to this learning of the skills?
Here, you need to evaluate the program-level competencies using a number of assessment techniques, such as formative and summative evaluations as well as self-evaluation.