Imagine you’re a student.
You walk into a classroom on the first day of the semester. You approach your chosen desk and there sits a thick sealed envelope. Looking around, you see that each desk has its own thick sealed envelope.
Your professor approaches the podium and speaks.
“On your desks, in the envelope, you will find your syllabus along with all materials and assignments for the term. In it, you will even find your final exam. Since many of you are adult learners, we respect the fact that you are bringing a meaningful amount of life and workplace experience to this classroom. As such, you are free to begin these assignments whenever you’d like. We’ll be meeting for classroom learning and discussion each week so you can ask the big questions and collaborate with peers. You’ll also have access to videos and other media to help you learn more whenever you’d like. Some may finish all of your work within a few weeks; for others, it may take you the whole term. In this class, we prioritize your learning and how it’s measured more than time. Show what you know as soon as you know it.”
This is competency-based education (CBE). At least one form of it.
(Next page: How to offer a quality CBE program)