Converting a student’s experience into college credits has proven one of the most complex, oft-discussed issues in higher education

competency-educationCompetency based learning, or CBE, has been pushed by educators and lawmakers who want to increase the number of U.S. degree holders by helping nontraditional students — working adults and military veterans among them — turn their professional experience into college credits.

The focus, these CBE advocates argue, should be on a student’s understanding of a subject, not their time re-learning what they already know.

With competency-based learning — which has gained traction over the past decade — student progress is not necessarily linked to traditional grades, textbook chapters, or even semester time-frames, known as seat time. Competency-based learning is instead based on the mastering of key concepts at a more personalized pace.

Pearson in July released what could be a critical tool in making CBE more efficient in higher education, mainstreaming it along the way.

(Next page: What industry is doing for CBE)


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