Competency-based undergraduate courses are both similar and different than courses prepared for course-based degree programs.
Similarities between traditional and competency-based courses include:
- The course is offered for a certain number of credits (typically two or four).
- 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.
Competency-based courses also bear the following defining features:
- an emphasis on development of student competency, 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.
- 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 competency-based curriculum:
Hybrid Courses at SNL
Writing Guide for SNL Students
DePaul Teaching Commons
DePaul Academic Integrity Board