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NIFL-ASSESSMENT 2005: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:878] RE: Competency-base

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From: Foreman, Robert (
Date: Thu Jan 20 2005 - 12:40:10 EST

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Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:878] RE: Competency-based Instruction
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The way competency-based education addresses this issue is through different
levels of objectives.  You can have a global objective such as the goal you
site, "become more involved in your child's schooling" but you then need
further "specific learning objectives" to clarify what it means to be
"involved".  These, when completed, move the student towards mastering the
global objective.

The specific learning objectives need to be expressed in behavioral terms
and require performance that is observable and measurable.  This makes it
easy and efficient to integrate subject matter across the curriculum and to
tailor lessons to meet specific student needs.  Assessment is easy because
the specific learning objectives describe the conditions under which a
learner will be assessed, the behavior that will be performed, and the
standards that must be met for acceptance.

Continuing with the global objective provided above, "Become more involved
in your child's schooling", the following could be a specific learning
objective for a specific learning activity:

"Given a blank journal and pen, the learner will attend three PTA meetings
and write minutes for the meetings describing issues addressed, votes taken,
and "next steps".  Sentences describing things that occurred at the meeting
will correctly use past tense verb forms and "next steps" will use
appropriate future forms.  Each journal entry must have at least twenty
sentences and the learner must perform this task with 80% accuracy."

The same type of activity can be used and the objective restated to deal
with spelling, specific grammatical structures such as simple, compound, and
complex sentences, punctuation, etc.

The clarity of the specific learning objectives make them ideal for
bilingual-vocational and workplace education programs where the students'
goals and objectives are likely to be stated in performance terms.

Robert Foreman 

-----Original Message-----
From: Marie Cora []
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 11:46 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:877] RE: more from the UK

Well, maybe, but I guess I would need examples of that.  For instance,
if the standard is "get a library card", then yeah:  the assessment is
built right in:  you check to see if that guy got his library card.  But
so many standards are not articulated that way, or simply can't be
articulated in that way.  But what about the standard:  "become more
involved in your child's schooling" - you can go at that from a million
angles. You can also say that the parent attends all the PTA meetings,
has donated money to the school, and volunteers in the library there -
so she is becoming more involved in the child's SCHOOL - not his
"schooling".  So what are the checks in that standard?  They must be

I guess I would need to see examples of how these 'transparent
standards' automatically lend themselves to a built-in assessment. 

marie cora
Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and 
Coordinator/Developer LINCS Assessment Special Collection at

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 11:26 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:872] RE: more from the UK

Once upon a time there was something called competence-based assessment.
Its origins seem to be a mixture of Tyler, through Bloom's taxonomy,
'mastery' theories of learning (some people see 'mastery learning' and
'competence-based assessment' as meaning the same thing, Robert whatever
his name was who coined the phrase 'criterion referencing' -
Glazer/Glaser - and so on.  All you need is a set of 'transparent
standards'.  If you have transparent standard, everybody knows what is
required and there can be no arguments about it.   Either a piece of
work meets these standards or it does not.  What could be simpler than


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