Competency-Based Assessment: Everything Old is New Again

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gamification-10Like I’ve said before, much of gamification really isn’t new at all. This is an example. Competency-based assessment is one of the corner-stones of my gamified designs, along with giving students access to almost all of the assignments at the start of term and letting go of deadlines.

One of higher education’s elder statesmen could see a shake-up coming.

An odd bit of administrative protocol, the credit hour, had outlived its usefulness, he thought. It forced students to bide their time for weeks, months, semesters — even if they had already mastered the material.

They should be free to move through college by demonstrating their achievement, he wrote, instead of deferring to time spent in class. A new day was dawning, wrote Walter A. Jessup, who was the leader of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching — the group responsible for creating the credit hour in the first place.

“American higher education,” he predicted, “appears to be well on its way to another stage of development.”

That was 1937.

Source: How a 40-Year-Old Idea Became Higher Education’s Next Big Thing| resources| AACRAO

There are ways to implement this that maintain quality without disadvantaging students, but if the institution’s top priority is money rather than education, it is likely to miss important considerations.

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