Competence-based courses are both similar and different than courses prepared for "traditional" course-based degree programs.
Similarities between "traditional" courses and competence-based course include
• the course is offered for a certain number of credits (typically 2 or 4)
• the course is shaped by its learning objectives
• the course connects students to learning resources like texts, websites, multimedia, site visits, lecture notes, student discussion, etc.
• the course is grounded in content knowledge
• the course offers opportunities for students to evidence their learning
• the course involves assessment of student work based on explicit assessment criteria
• the course can fulfill a program requirement or elective
Competence-based courses also bear the following defining features:
• an emphasis on development of student competence, which by definition involves both knowledge and performance (i.e., being able to use that knowledge in a variety of contexts)
• a flexibility for individual students to focus their learning to specific competencies which may differ from the competencies being developed by classmates; for example, Student A may take the "Issues in Science and Religion" course and emphasize development of competence in historical analysis (H1F) whereas Student B may take the same courses and emphasize development in ethical decision-making (A3X)
• an emphasis on the development of core competencies (writing/communication, collaboration, critical inquiry, experiential learning, and decision-making) in addition to content-related competencies
• an emphasis on learning from experience, i.e., building upon students' life experiences both within and outside the classroom
The following resources may help in designing a course suitable for the SNL competence-based curriculum: