Competency-Based Learning

  • Competency-based learning (CBL) has moved beyond its vocational roots to become a viable lower-cost solution for universities, institutions—and a new cohort of learners.
  • Competency-based learning comes with unique challenges related to this new model.
  • Six Red Marbles’ Learning Experience Design can help demystify both the unique needs of CBL learners and the learning environment that serves them.

Competency-based learning or competency-based education (CBL) emphasizes demonstration of individual student mastery of specific skills over how much time a student spends "covering" a subject during a semester. This student-centered approach is already disrupting higher education and professional development practices as classrooms are blended with—or replaced by—a personalized learning model that requires a reimagining of content, assessment, and new methods for engaging students.

The appeal of CBL can extend to "traditional" K–16 and "non-traditional" learners alike. As the needs and demands of society—and the technology landscape—constantly change it has become clear that an increasing number of learners will benefit from flexible, self-paced educational options. Creating powerful and effective CBL, however, comes with very real challenges. How can you provide support for CBL learners who progress at their own pace, freed from classroom constraints—and from a standardized calendar? How can you develop rigorous assessments that accurately represent student mastery and also align with market demands?

Six Red Marbles is an industry expert at creating flexible learning experience solutions that address learner needs. The world changes quickly, and we know we can't just rely on what has worked in the past. Our work is driven by cutting-edge educational research and evidence-based development practices based on interviews, focus groups, and observational data collection. Our practices ensure that we can holistically address the needs of the whole CBL student by reimagining course content, platform design, and delivery systems.