40 Competency-Based Education Publications and Resources

Editor’s Note: This post is an appendix to a recently released report on competency-based education entitled Show What You Know: The Landscape of Competency-Based Education.

We’ve been looking into what schools, districts, networks, and impact organizations are doing to accelerate progress toward an effective CBE system, and in July we will release a full publication highlighting our research and analysis. In the meantime, we have assembled a series of initial lists of positive examples in various areas.

The resources highlighted below contain valuable, thought-provoking ideas that are helpful in understanding what competency-based education is, how to communicate about it, and how to plan for it.

This list is not intended to be comprehensive, but is a sampling of resources identified as exemplars by people we’ve interviewed and/or other sources we’ve encountered in our research. We invite you to suggest other valuable resources in the comments section below.


6 Strategies to Navigate System Constraints in Competency-Based Education, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

7 Things You Should Know About Competency-Based Education, EDUCAUSE Review

Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, National Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky

A New Model of Student Assessment for the 21st Century, American Youth Policy Forum

An Introduction to the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Competency Education: A Reflection on the Field and Future Directions, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Creating Systems of Assessment for Deeper Learning, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, Educational Policy Improvement Center

Designing for Equity: Leveraging Competency-Based Education to Ensure All Students Succeed, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Dispelling the Myths: Frequently Asked Questions About Competency-Based Education, KnowledgeWorks

Fit for Purpose: Taking the Long View on Systems Change and Policy to Support Competency Education, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

In Search of Efficacy: Defining the Elements of Quality in a Competency-Based Education System, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

In Pursuit of Equality: A Framework for Equity Strategies in Personalized, Competency-Based Education, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Meeting Students Where They Are, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL, reDesign

The Past and the Promise: Today’s Competency Education Movement, Jobs For the Future/Students at the Center

Policy, Pilots, and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A National Landscape, Foundation for Excellence in Education, EducationCounsel

Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Quality and Equity by Design: Charting the Course for the Next Phase of Competency-Based Education, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

Reaching the Tipping Point: Insights on Advancing Competency Education in New England, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL

The Shift from Cohorts to Competency, Getting Smart, Digital Learning Now, Foundation for Excellence in Education, CompetencyWorks

The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture, Educational Researcher

What Is Competency Education?, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL


Getting Smart Podcast | District 51 On Building a Performance-Based Education System, Getting Smart

Shift your Paradigm  Episode 018, Lindsay Unified School District , Shift Your Paradigm

Shift your Paradigm  Episode 019, MC2 Charter School, Shift Your Paradigm

Other Resources:

Center for Curriculum Redesign

Delivering on the Promise: The Education Revolution, Richard A. DeLorenzo, Rick M. Schreiber, Wendy Battino, Barbara Gaddy Cario

Education Elements CBE Toolkit, Education Elements + Digital Promise

A Framework for Interactivity in Competency-Based Courses, EDUCAUSE Review

How Blockchain Will Transform Credentialing (and Education), Getting Smart

How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards, Ken B. O’Connor

The Journal of Competency-Based Education, Western Governors University and John Wiley & Sons

On Your Mark Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting – a book for K-12 assessment policies and practices, Thomas R. Guskey

Proficiency-Based Learning Tools, Great Schools Partnership

Students at the Center Hub, Managed by Jobs for the Future

Talking with Families About Transcripts and Grading in a Personalized, Competency-Based Environment, Knowledgworks

What is Competency Education? (Webinar and Slides), Charleston County School District, CompetencyWorks, iNACOL, KnowledgeWorks, reDesign

What the Learning Sciences Tell Us About Competency Education (blog post), Bror Saxberg

What other resources would you add? As mentioned, please feel free to contribute to the lists by adding a comment below.

Additionally, keep an eye out in the near future for follow-up lists that will highlight other interesting CBE resources, initiatives, and difference-makers!

This post is part of a series focused on competency-based education in partnership with XQ Institute. The series highlights findings from research and interviews conducted during the development of the upcoming white paper, “Show What You Know: The State of Competency-Based Education.”

For more, see:

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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1 Comment


Thank you for the list. Competency-based education is the best step forward by far, but it isn't easy to implement in the traditional learning model, as you are aware. I studied digital marketing at University and found that (like all my courses) it was heavily theory-based, which was a shame because I wanted to develop my practical skillset. One way I overcame this was by incorporating mentorship programs into my learning. Having a mentor who guides and gives advice helps you experience deeper understanding. It has a practical element that enables you to "show what you know." It allowed me to use the skills I had learned in my classes and apply them to real-life situations and problems I needed to solve. This is my own resource to know more about how mentorship can develop such competencies: https://www.tprteaching.com/mentorship-programs/. It's food for thought, anyway.

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