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Restructuring Education for Improved Outcomes

by Arthur Levine

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Article excerpt

Time Is Right for Colleges to Shift From Assembly-Line Education

…recently, as I talked with two education reporters about what they considered the “big” issues in higher education, they rolled their eyes when I mentioned competency-based education. One characterized the term as incomprehensible jargon, a buzzword, and the other dismissed it as the latest education fad. The MOOC of 2015.

Our take

An Evolution From Timeframes to Outcomes

Education has long been based on standard processes and timeframes—13 years of instruction prior to college, semester-long courses and credit hours are the norm. But some are suggesting that this rigid adherence to potentially arbitrary timeframes may be misguided and that, instead, the focus should be on outcome, not process. Competency-based education is a new buzzword, but is the concept worth pursuing?

There may be good reasons to watch this trend. With technology upending the way that knowledge can be conveyed to learners around the globe in a 24/7/365 environment that can easily operate asynchronously, a shift away from rigid timeframes to measurable outcomes may not only make sense, but may prove to be a natural evolution of learning.

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