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ERIC Number: EJ1155341
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Competency-Based Education, Put to the Test: An Inside Look at Learning and Assessment at Western Governors University
Marcus, Jon
Education Next, v17 n4 p27-33 Fall 2017
Unlike conventional colleges and universities, Western Governors doesn't require students to spend a set number of hours in a classroom, average out their performance on assignments and tests, then hand out letter grades and credits. Using a complex system of assessments developed over the two decades the university has been operating, WGU's method is competency-based, requiring that students prove they've mastered all the skills and knowledge offered in a given subject area. A dramatic departure from the conventional "seat-time" standard, competency-based assessment allows students to proceed at their own pace, a feature that's attractive to both those who want to accelerate their degree program and for older-than-traditional-age students juggling schoolwork with families and jobs. This article provides an inside peek at learning and assessment at Western Governors University and looks toward the potential of similar systems in the K-12 realm. The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 opened the way for primary and secondary schools to experiment with this and other new kinds of testing, and states that include New Hampshire, Kansas, Maine, Arizona, Colorado, and Vermont are also giving it a try.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A