CAEL Explains Competency-Based Education and PLA

I was thrilled to see that someone has finally taken up the challenge of trying to illustrate the relationship between prior learning assessment (PLA) and competency-based education (CBE).  Both terms have a long history in the field of higher education, and many people use them in ways that I find problematic (see Obstacles for Competency-Based […]

What the Department of Ed doesn’t understand about PLA and CBE

Despite what some may say, there is an undeniable relationship between prior learning assessment and competency-based education.  Prior learning assessment (PLA) is the measurement of what someone knows and can do based on their previous experiences and learning.  Competency-based education (CBE) is an educational methodology which credentials students in what they know and can do, […]

The Problem with Snowflakes

This winter, many Americans became reacquainted with snowflakes in a big way.  Violent storms dropped as many as 120 inches of snow on some cities.  The vast amount of these tiny, uniquely shaped frozen water droplets was overwhelming.  Similarly, colleges and universities throughout the country were also recently overwhelmed by another kind of tiny, and […]

Thomas Edison State College’s Open Course Option

Since their inception, MOOCs have been touted as the answer to the ever-rising cost of college tuition.  However, while their enrollments have soared, many people have wondered what their real impact on tuition, and higher education, has been.  Some are already calling MOOCs a failed experiment as Udacity and Coursera turn away from higher ed […]

Not quite a “Faustian Bargain”

In a recent Inside Higher Ed article, William Durden wrote warning of the dangers of competency-based education.  He compares it to a “Faustian Bargain.” In exchange for a comfortable and frustration-free learning experience, students will have to give up…a frustrating learning experience.  Clearly, akin to a deal with the devil.  However, he believes that by […]