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CBE and the Essential Learning Questions

CBE and the Essential Learning Questions

Author: Jody Waltman

In this lesson, students analyze the connection of competencies to the five essential learning questions.

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In this tutorial, we'll connect the components of competency based education to the essential learning questions. We'll begin by reviewing the five principles of CBE and the five essential learning questions. And finally, we'll put it all together. Let's get started. Recall that iNACOL developed five principles of CBE.

Principle number one, students advance upon demonstrated mastery. Principle two, explicit and measurable learning objectives empower students. Principle three, assessment is meaningful and a positive learning experience for students. Principal four, students receive rapid, differentiated support. And principal five, learning outcomes emphasized include application and creation of knowledge.

Now let's recall the DuFour's five essential learning questions. These are the questions that teachers should ask themselves when developing instructional plans at the lesson level, unit level, or curriculum level.

First, what do students need to know and be able to do? Second, how will I help them get there? Third, how will I know if they are there? Fourth, what will I do if they are not there? And fifth, what will I do if they are already there?

Let's connect those essential learning questions to the five principles of CBE. First, Based on the standards, what does each student need to know, and what does each student need to be able to do? Next, based upon where each student is, what will be the learning plan for that student?

Then, how will I meaningfully assess my students, so that I know that they have indeed achieved mastery? How will I differentiate and personalize both instruction and students' learning plans, in order to meet the needs of each student, as they progress towards their objectives? And finally, what level of mastery will indicate that a student is ready to move on? And what will they move on to?

As we consider the connections between the essential learning questions and CBE, many districts have found that in order to implement truly self-paced competency based instruction, it is necessary to use some sort of adaptive technology or an online learning platform in the classroom.

In this tutorial, we reviewed the five principles of competency based education and the five essential learning questions. Finally, we connected the essential questions and the elements of CBE.

Now it's time for you to stop and reflect. Do you see the links between the essential learning questions and the design principles of CBE? For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks, useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thanks for watching, have a great day.

Notes on "CBE and the Essential Learning Questions"

(00:00 - 00:19) Introduction

(00:20 - 00:52) 5 Principles of CBE

(00:53 - 01:26) 5 Essential Learning Questions

(01:27 - 02:32) Essential Learning Questions and CBE

(02:33 - 02:44) Review

(02:45 - 03:14) Stop and Reflect

Additional Resources

Professional Learning Communities: Four Essential Questions and how we respond

This website from Stevenson Elementary School explains how to use the PLC essential questions to drive improvement. The school draws connections to Response to Intervention (RtI) as well as Gifted and Talented in response to the PLC essential learning questions.

The Learning Edge: Supporting Student Success in a Competency-Based Learning Environment

This is a comprehensive report by Laura Shubilla and Chris Sturgis on CBE. Scroll to section III to understand the design principles behind establishing a CBE learning environment.