Teacher's Guide to Competency Based Education
Competency Based Education(CBE) allows schools to move away from the traditional alpha numeric grading and instead evaluate Students based on their progress towards mastering specific skills and abilities. Teachers play a pivotal role in this by creating assignments and evaluating students based on skills set by their school. If you are looking for information on how to set up CBE for your school, please see Competency Based Education. This guide provides the basic steps teachers will need to use CBE with their assignments.
Assignment creation is largely the same for CBE assignments as it is for total score grading. From the Assignment Center, select +Add then Assignment. If a teacher is attached to multiple school levels, they will need to select the school level the assignment should be created for. Once the Add assignment modal populates, teachers will add in assignment details as they normally would, however under Evaluation, they will now have the Mastery and Mastery and total score options. Assignments with Mastery and total score selected are considered hybrid assignments.
Tip: Teachers will only need to select Mastery if their school level uses both Mastery and Total Score evaluations. If their school level only uses Mastery evaluation, they will not need to select an evaluation method.
Under Courses, teachers can select to add this assignment to multiple courses. Teachers will select the edit icon to add additional courses. To add a new course, they will simply mark the available check box. Once all courses have been selected, the teacher will select Done and then they will need to confirm that they would like to add the assignment to the selected courses.
Note: Teachers should be aware that they will only be able to add skills to the assignment if they are associated with all courses that have been selected. If a course is added to the assignment after skills are selected and one of the selected skills is not associated with the course, the skill will be removed from the assignment.
Finally, teachers will need to use the Select skills to evaluate option to select the skills students will be assessed on with the created assignment. They will then need to select if they will evaluate students based on Transferable and/or Content-area skills, see below for the difference between these two options. Once the skill type is selected, they will need to select any skills that will be evaluated with this assignment. The list of available skills can be filtered by Category if the teacher is adding Transferable skills. If they are adding Content area skills, they can filter by course. Once all skills have been chosen, the teacher will need to use the Select button to close out the Skills list. Once the teacher has completed setting up the assignment, they'll select Save to close out the Add assignment modal.
When a teacher is setting up their assignment, they have the ability to denote them as Formative by marking the applicable Formative check box. If an assignment is marked as Formative, it will not be included in the calculations set in Mastery settings. Formative assignments tend to be assignments that will assist teachers in evaluating their students to see if they need to change their lesson plans to make sure students are mastering the applicable skills. Once an assignment is marked Formative, this will be indicated anywhere the assignment can be viewed in the system. If an assignment is not marked as Formative, it is considered Summative in the system and will be included in all calculations.
When CBE is enabled, teachers can evaluate assignments using the assigned skills from the Assignment details page. From the Assignments tab of a course, select the title of the assignment that needs to be evaluated. This will pull up the Assignment details page for this assignment. Next, the teacher will need to select a student from the available list and use the available Evaluation drop downs to evaluate the skills attached to this assignment. Once ratings and comments have been added and committed for an assignment, students, parents, and advisors have access to view them.
Teachers also have the ability to evaluate Competency-based assignments and/or related skills directly from their Gradebook. In the Gradebook, the Mastery assignment will appear first followed by all associated skills. When a grade box is selected for a skill, a small pop up will appear with the rating scale linked with the skill. Teachers can select the appropriate rating from the available list and the grade box will populate with that rating.
If total score and mastery is the selected evaluation method, teachers can also add a total score to the Mastery assignment. If total score is not used, the Mastery assignment column acts as a placeholder in the Gradebook. However, teachers can still bulk add comments and mark the assignment late, incomplete, etc. Teachers can also bulk comment and bulk evaluate related skills. All bulk add options can be found in the context menus available at the top of the columns.
In addition, if your school allows teachers to set their own computation method, teachers can see a Mastery option in their Gradebook. From here, they can use the applicable Computation method drop down to select a computation method that will work for their classroom as well as view the School selected computation method. Teachers can only set a computation method for Content-area skills.
From a course roster, a Teacher can use the context menu to select View profile. Once on the student's profile, they can select Learning progression to view the student's progress toward mastering sub-skills. Teachers will see two tiles here, one that looks at transferable skills and the other looks at content-area skills. These tiles can be filtered by school year, course, category, and sub-skill.
Once these filters have been set, the teacher can select a sub-skill to view the progress a student has made towards mastering that sub-skill. When a sub-skill is selected, a fly-out will appear with any assignments that have been evaluated and count toward mastering the selected sub-skill along with the assignment details, evaluation, and any comments. On the fly-out, evaluations are grouped first by evaluations that count and then formative assignments. Formative assignments are not included in any computation methods set by the school and tend to be assignments that will assist teachers in evaluating their students to see if they need to change their lesson plans to make sure students are mastering the applicable skills.
When CBE is enabled for a school, teachers will see a Mastery overview tab in their courses. From this tab, teachers can see a list of the students in the course along with their ratings for each skill associated with the course and their sub-skills. Teachers can use the available search bar to search this list for specific students or ratings. Dropped students will be included in the list with a denotation of Dropped: mm/dd/yyyy.
This list will default to display the Content-area skills for the course. Teachers can use Change view to view a cumulative list of Transferable skills. Once they have selected the skill type this would like to view, they'll need to select Apply to update the list. This list can also be exported to Excel.
Note: Schools can customize the names of these skill types to better fit the school's framework and lingo. Please check with your school's admin if you see something other than Transferable and Content-area skills.
There are two types of Skills that are available for evaluation:
Transferable skills: These are skills that span a student's entire academic experience at a school. These skills are not tied to a specific course or subject area and instead look at things like collaboration, engagement, organization, etc. Transferable skills can be further categorized and broken down into sub-skills as well.
Content-area skills: In direct contrast, Content-area skills are tied to specific courses or class subjects. These are typically used to detail expected learning outcomes. Sub-skills can be created for these skills as well to further refine these standards.