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Tuesday, June 21 • 13:30 - 15:45
PRE-CON.B.04 (long) - Settle for More: The Allure of Competency-Based Education

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STLHE Conference themes of relevance, marketability, mobility and motivation for students, graduates and faculty are objectives for collaboration across post-secondary institutions. These aspirations are often coordinated through competency-based education (CBE) formats. CBE is known by its’ manifestations: objectives, outcomes, competency frameworks, task analysis, employability skills, and performance checklists. Supported by governments, administrators, regulatory and accrediting bodies, the CBE movement quantifies value to learners while facilitating curricular and faculty management.

CBE is based in Taylor’s approach to work-place performance improvement (Morgan, 2006). The subsequent educational movements of social efficiency, essentialism, and vocationalism informed and solidified the educational goal of competent job performance (Schilling & Koetting, 2010). In the early 1970’s McClelland linked individual competence with organizational performance and it is this movement that is still in place today (Balke, 2006). CBE removes the emphasis on institutional reputation as a proxy or determinant of graduate quality and competence, replacing that with careful documentation of classroom and simulation activities believed to reflect the workplace (Calhoun et al., 2011). There have been cautionary flags from the beginning of CBE (Anderson, 1984: Grant, 1999; Eisner, 2005) and the concerns continue (Lurie, 2011; Kuper & Whitehead, 2013; Bynum, 2014), however these voices have been ignored in the rush to implementation.

This workshop will address the tensions brought into focus by CBE: our desire to produce graduates equipped to respond capably in a rapidly changing world and the pressures to articulate, document and assess that learning using CBE. The goal of this workshop is to assist faculty, administrators, and academic leaders participate in CBE without losing sight of other, more integrative, educational goals.

At the conclusion of the workshop attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe competency-based education (CBE).

  2. Determine effective uses for CBE.

  3. Identify ameliorating strategies to avoid misuse and oversights of CBE.

avatar for Lynn Curry

Lynn Curry

owner & principal consultant, CurryCorp Inc.
Lynn Curry, Ph.D. founded CurryCorp Inc. after a career in higher and professional education concluding with a Rosenstadt Professorship at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. The firm works to enhance educational services through research, evaluation, operational review... Read More →
avatar for Marcia Docherty

Marcia Docherty

Director, Professional Education, Canadian National Institute of Health
Marcia Docherty has 16 years' experience in higher education, specializing in experiential learning placements (practicum) in the health professions. She is completing her doctorate in human and organizational systems at Fielding Graduate University, examining how practitioners make... Read More →

Tuesday June 21, 2016 13:30 - 15:45 EDT
M3048 Fanshawe College