Moodle 3.1 has added Competency frameworks to the mix. This fascinates me. Competency based is called Standards based education in the United States. The implementation in Moodle ties activities to specific standards. Interestingly, an activity can be set to multiple standards.
At this point, I have more questions than answers. But I am excited about the possibilities. I am currently playing around with the Competencies, and do have a few answers.
- Competencies need to be site wide.
- A site can have multiple competencies.
- Competencies can be assigned to students manually be a teacher.
- Competencies can be set so that a student has to “pass” multiple instances before being assigned as “competent”
There is also the new option to create a Learning plan based upon competencies. I haven’t had a chance to look at these yet, but the concept is assigning students a variety of competencies to master.
There is lots to like about this so far. It does look as though it will add a few steps to the process. However, there is no shortcut to monitoring these standards for students. Teachers have to identify an activity and associate it that activity to standard. The devil is in the details. Will the process in Moodle be easy enough for teachers to actually use? Will the benefits outweigh the additional work?
The jury for me is still out. However, I’m optimistic after my first bit of exploration. The real question will be in whether or not teachers will use the capability. An additional challenge will be in associating that information into our Student Information System. If we can do that, teachers will be very interested.
Our next steps will include taking the standards that we have in our district and formatting those to import into Moodle. There is a plugin to import standards from the RDF – Achievement Standards. These include the Common Core Standards as well as the standards for the State of Michigan.