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Imagine a parent and student have access to and control of information about the student and could choose when and how to share that information with other stakeholders. Imagine that it is not only available 24 hours a day but stays with the family regardless of school transfer. An expanded learner profile could make this vision a reality by building on the current “official transcript” with an expanded electronic student record highlighting learner strengths, needs, interests, preferences and more. A learner profile could simultaneously drive personalization and safeguard privacy.
Competency-based education (CBE) has elicited strong interest among educators and education stakeholders due to its potential to meet students where they are in their education journey and provide a more personalized path to completion. A typical CBE program has a curriculum structured to demonstrate learning in clearly articulated competencies, is often self-paced, is agnostic as to the source of learning while maintaining clear and transparent learning standards, and has an emphasis on authentic assessment, which evaluates what the learner knows and can do through real-life demonstrations and projects.
How to engage learners? It’s a perpetual question for teachers and trainers. If it’s human development you’re after, engagement isn’t the goal but it is the engine. You won’t achieve your aims without it, especially if the desired learning requires hard sustained work.
The eportfolio community has grappled with CBE for years in the guise of “tracking students’ progress toward learning outcomes.” Years ago, the focus on outcomes seemed antithetical to the kind of learning our community believed in – reflective, integrative, creative, authentic, experiential. Our community was divided along the line dividing the two uses for eportfolio technology – institutional research (tracking student outcomes) or for improved learning. Now CBE has carried the tracking toward outcomes to a higher degree and also toward a specialized use of eportfolio – not so much a learning space but more so a credentialing space, recording what assessment tasks have been accomplished.
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