The Advantages Of Competency-Primarily based Evaluation

contributed by David Garrick, Dean of Graduate Faculty of Schooling, UCDS Faculty for Faculty Tradition

The final concept behind a competency-based evaluation is that it gives college students and households with particular suggestions about scholar efficiency that may result in a clearer understanding of progress and expertise gained over time.

As Dean of the Graduate Faculty of Schooling on the UCDS Faculty for Faculty Tradition, I’ve gained a singular perspective on the probabilities that competency-based evaluation can present. College students who attend College Little one Improvement Faculty (UCDS) in Seattle don’t earn A’s, B’s, or F’s. As a substitute, scholar assessments are communicated via our personal set of competency-based continua for numerous topics.

These continua, paired with narrative communication with college students and households, make up the varsity’s framework for evaluation, based mostly on ability progressions. I’ve seen the advantages first-hand in Pre-Ok via elementary lecture rooms, and likewise in coaching on the graduate stage.  

By offering particular details about the educational and social expertise college students exhibit, colleges present detailed and actionable data. This empowers college students of their studying and educators of their educating practices. Right here’s a common overview of the advantages of competency-based evaluation.

Constructing Competency-Primarily based Assessments: The Advantages

1. Improved readability & transparency

Larger readability permits lecturers and households to determine areas of power and areas the place college students might have further assist. In all instances, these assessments present lecturers with detailed information about scholar progress that can be utilized to construct individualized objectives and academic plans.

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Along with evaluating proficiency in these domains, lecturers ought to commonly share complete suggestions particular person scholar accomplishments and struggles. For instance, UCDS lecturers present narrative commentary to households the place they concentrate on how a scholar engages inside every area, in addition to notable accomplishments and struggles.

Specializing in complete suggestions brings readability to the learner, and readability to the household about what’s occurring within the classroom. Letter grades don’t present the total image (suggesting options to letter grades), and a competency-based mannequin is healthier outfitted to offer college students, households and future colleges with clear details about every scholar’s social and educational progress.

2. Extra seamless personalization of studying

By Competency-Primarily based Studying, educators have a greater likelihood to offer a deeper view into every scholar’s studying attitudes and methods and may present sources that greatest assist particular person wants. Such a data is vital to understanding the distinctive modes, methods, and training to which every scholar responds greatest. That is the muse of customized studying.

three. It helps shift in the direction of a tradition of evaluation

To efficiently undertake competency-based methods, lecturers and directors should first reevaluate evaluation. Whereas conventional types of evaluation (i.e., exams and quizzes) are useful when inserting college students on a common scale of progress, they don’t present the entire image. Making adjustments to evaluation may be daunting for some educators, particularly those that have been utilizing conventional evaluation practices all through their profession. It can be a shift for fogeys to judge their scholar’s efficiency and not using a grade.

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It’s essential that lecturers pursue sources and professional improvement that introduce completely different strategies of assessing scholar progress, and why they maintain worth. As each trainer is aware of, the training by no means stops – and by staying on high of present traits, curriculum may be tailored to fulfill each college students’ wants.

four. College students higher perceive their very own studying profile

By complete, competency-based evaluation strategies, lecturers will help college students to succeed in faculty and profession readiness with better self-knowledge about their studying approaches and desires. Working from a continuum of expertise ensures that each scholar is being challenged in a means that’s acceptable to what they need and must study and that educators may give individualized assist as wanted to assist them transfer ahead.

Eradicating the stress of being positioned on a tiered grading scale shifts the main target again to studying, whereas constructing the boldness to make errors. College students take possession of their studying. They really feel empowered when mastering a ability and study to determine what’s subsequent.


For lecturers, competency-based evaluation brings depth and worth to curriculum. With the main target shifted away from letters and percentages, college students grow to be extra concerned in long-term progress and are extra apt to grow to be engaged and take dangers whereas studying.

Rating college students based mostly on undefined competencies after which utilizing that rank to find out their future prospects and contributions is a apply greatest left to previous eras. Competency-based evaluation gives extra detailed data that promotes better-targeted educating and studying for all events concerned.