Competency based learning is (and should be) the Next Big Thing!

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been greatly hyped over the past couple of years, as having potential for disruptive innovation in the higher education sector. With hindsight it’s apparent that this disruptive innovation hasn’t been realised.

Michael B. Horn from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation writes that online, competency-based programs have held far more disruptive potential. We wholeheartedly agree with this claim. In fact, that’s why an emphasis on competency-based learning lies at the heart of what we are developing for students at Acavista. We think that higher education shouldn’t be about how many hours you spend in class, or what prestigious or expensive institution you attend. Rather, we believe that it should be focused on what students can demonstrate they know and can do.

Horn argues that online, competency-based institutions represent the right learning model (focused on actual mastery of knowledge and skills), with the right technology of online learning, targeted at the right students (“non-consumers” of higher education who are over-served by current universities and are looking for an alternative that is aligned to their workforce needs), paired with a low cost, low-priced, sustainable offering.

We’re learning so much from going out and talking both to students and importantly, people who would like to undertake higher education but don’t feel able to because the current system is too expensive, too inflexible, and doesn’t always provide industry-relevant skills.