Courtesy of iNACOL

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) released “Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning” this July, a report stating that it will take a “comprehensive policy redesign” to move toward performance-based learning models beyond traditional K-12 advancement.

Following many themes throughout the past year, the report recommends moving away from compliance standards by offering “seat-time” waivers that allow for the flexibility to build on competency-based learning credits, establish quality-control, and support individual growth in K-12. Yet, the report argues that seat-time waivers are not enough to drive learning toward performance-based models.

The report identifies six major issues impacting competency-based learning and encourages federal policymakers to provide active support to integrate competency-based learning, remove compliance requirements and redefine teacher-effectiveness.

The report recommends that states redefine credits for competency, build better professional development training for educators, develop adequate information management systems and establish mechanisms for quality control that support competency-based learning. Lastly, the it argues that technology should provide educators with meaningful data to track students’ progress and offer personalized learning plans that integrate adaptive assessments and e-portfolios for a more student-centered learning experience.

For more information, read “Toward a Competency-Based Learning System” by David Nagel from THE Journal. Click here to view an executive summary of “Cracking the Code.”

Chris Sturgis, Bob Rath, Ephraim Weisstein and Susan Patrick also wrote the competency-based learning report “Clearing the Path: Creating Innovation Space for Serving Over-Age, Under-Credited Students in Competency-Based Pathways” in January 2011. Sturgis and Patrick wrote “When Success is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning” in November 2010.

Also, check out the following related posts on edReformer.com: “It’s Not a Matter of Time” and “Do the Classroom Flip: Humanizing School Through Technology.”

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