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ERIC Number: EJ1094738
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Holding Courses Accountable for Competencies Central to the Degree
Schneider, Carol Geary
Liberal Education, v99 n1 2013
The author of this article questions what has been gained from Berrett's exploration of the connections between competency development and individual required courses. She concludes from this analysis that students' competency development is a responsibility that cuts across many courses and many levels of expected student proficiency. To put it differently, it takes a curriculum, not just a course, to foster the competencies almost everyone now considers "essential." As practitioners examine the value of educational innovations, they need to hold these innovations accountable to the overarching goals higher education is setting for the degree. Innovations should improve higher education's capacity to foster students' competency development. They most assuredly should not deplete it further. Perhaps MOOCs will meet this competency standard as digital innovations progress. But ultimately, no single course is sufficient, on its own, to develop the competencies society values and needs. So MOOCs and other courses need to be carefully calibrated to the educational goals, including the competency goals, of the curriculum as a whole and of programs within the curriculum. Stringing courses together, willy-nilly, is an impoverished way to help students gain a credential, whether those courses come from elite institutions or not. But creating connections across courses, with competency development valued and expected in every course or learning experience, is surely the key to students' meaningful development of high-quality capacities. We have entered an era of fast-paced educational innovation. But we have also entered an era of new clarity about the essential competencies that degrees need to foster and warrant. If we hold innovations accountable for competency development, students will reap the benefit they seek and deserve from college study. We really can't afford to settle for anything less.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A