Online College Courses for Credit

2 Tutorials that teach Analyze Standards Based and Competency Based Instruction
Take your pick:
Analyze Standards Based and Competency Based Instruction

Analyze Standards Based and Competency Based Instruction


In this lesson you will understand the similarities and differences between standards based and competency based instruction and the implications for assessment and grading.

See More

Like what you're learning?

Standards-Based Digital Instruction

Take the whole course from Capella University FOR FREE


Source: Scale, Morguefile,; Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Clker,

Video Transcription

Download PDF

Hello everyone, and welcome. I hope you're having a great day. Today, we're going to look at some of the fundamental differences between standards-based and competency-based instruction. We have a lot to get to, so let's get started.

I would love to lose about 20 pounds, but it's not that easy. I know it would be a lot of work and I would need to plan. So I will try to eat healthier, exercise, and lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks. That's 2 pounds per week. Being a teacher, I would like to track and measure my progress, so I have two choices.

Choice one, at the end of each week I score myself based on whether or not I lost two pounds. I either did, or I almost did, or I didn't. Choice two, at the end of each week I score myself based on whether or not I made progress toward the ultimate goal of losing 20 pounds. In both cases, I'm working toward losing 20 pounds.

With that scenario in mind, let's look at the definitions of standards-based based and competency-based instruction. Let's begin by defining the two terms. In a standards-based model, the objectives are aligned to standards and based on learning progressions. What students should know and be able to do, they're written as the end of year statements, and they're measured throughout the year.

In a competency-based model, objectives are aligned to what students have done most recently. Skills that are measured by mastery levels and written in smaller, as in the moment chunks. In both cases, students are working toward mastery.

Let's take an even closer look. In standards-based instruction, objectives are aligned to standards and are based on learning progressions. Students work toward mastery at their own pace. There are some digital learning tools that can help, such as Khan Academy, Tenmarks, Edgenuity, and Common Core Pathways. Please keep in mind, however, that if students are using these tools, it does not mean you stop instructing them.

Unfortunately, there are still teachers that simply use technology rather than integrate it. For competency-based instruction, they are objectives that are aligned to standards and they are skill-based. There are two models-- the Christiansen model, where a student reaches mastery and moves on, and the Deeper Learning model, where a student reaches mastery and goes deeper, and grapples with authentic problems.

There are best practices that should be adhered to, regardless of the model that you subscribe to. Formative assessment on a regular basis is key to successful implementation in both a standards-based model as well as competency-based. Both students and teachers should own the data. It's important for students to know where they stand, and what goals they need to set in order to succeed and continue growing. Students can own individual data, as well as class data. Doing this makes learning more visible, thus empowering students.

And finally, using that data to inform instruction and shift strategies when need be. We know that a one size fits all approach does not work, which means it's important for teachers to be flexible in their approach.

Let's look at standards and competency-based instruction, and how they're different from traditional education. We'll start with standards-based. Since the '90s, education has been mostly standards-based, But today, there are fewer standards that have more rigor, are clearer, and include thinking practices.

This is thanks largely in part to the advent of initiatives, such as the Next Generation Science Standards, the Historical Thinking Standards, and the Common Core State Standards. Although we still lack a national curriculum, more states than ever are on the same page.

When we look at competency-based instruction today, we find more of an emphasis on mastery of learning. This master and move on model allows students to self-pace. Another result of this approach is that it allows students to engage in much more authentic, problem-based learning. There is a three minute video found on the Common Core website that does a nice job of explaining how this all fits together.

It's time to summarize what we covered in today's video. We defined standards and competency-based instruction, we talked about best practices, and we went over the differences between competency-based and standards-based versus traditional education.

Here's some food for thought. Do your grading practices reflect your instructional practices? As you reflect on how this information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set. Thanks again for watching. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Analyze Standards Based and Competency Based Instruction"

(00:00-00:12) Intro

(00:13-00:59) The Dreaded Weigh In

(01:00-02:23) Definitions

(02:24-03:10) Best Practices

(03:11-04:10) Differences From Traditional Education

(04:11-04:28) Summary

(04:29-04:56) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

In ‘Flipped’ Classrooms, a Method for Mastery

NY Times Blog by TINA ROSENBERG - The Flipped Classroom as a Mastery Learning Model - This article connects flipped learning and mastery.Through the use of flipped lesson, the author demonstrates how the teacher can focus on personalized instruction and mastery in the classroom. She provides useful examples of what a mastery based flipped classroom would look like and suggestions to achieve such an environment.

Hattie Ranking: Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement

Official John Hattie Website on Making Learning Visible. This website offers a clear overview of the effect size of research-based instructional strategies on student achievement. In addition to the breakdown on effect size, the site includes videos explaining effect size and strategies, as well as interviews with and presentations by John Hattie.

Harvard Graduate School of Education : Project Zero, Making Learning Visible

This site provides insights from the research on the application of making learning visible. In particular, this project focused on building a culture of community in the classroom to impact change and increase achievement.

Making Learning Visible

This is the official website of making learning visible.

Dr. Douglas Reeves - Toxic Grading Practices

Reeves explains the problem with using a 0 in classroom grading practices and provides practical strategies for alternatives to using a 0. This is a must see video for any educator considering changing the culture of grades in their classroom.