Competency Based Learning: The Next Big Thing - Navima

How often have we thought that the knowledge gained in school was of little use in the real world? It becomes even clearer when we see the lesser relevance of school education to what we do in our daily lives. This situation has urged us to shift our traditional learning approach to Competency-based Learning.

Despite having some fantastic school teachers deliver the topics, students often think that a specific portion of the study is only for rote memorisation- a way to earn better grades. We start believing that higher scores in the final tests reflect students’ better learning levels. Therefore, in the race for a high score, we miss out on an essential objective of education: empowering students to explore their actual potential.

Our ever-changing world demands skills, knowledge, and abilities that help our students thrive in the path they choose to be successful. Time has come to embrace Competency-Based Learning. This approach focuses on the students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts, critical thinking and skills such as problem-solving, essential for a successful life. 

Competency-based learning is almost similar to Outcome-based Learning. Its key objective is to be practical education in terms of emphasising the need for demonstration of skills.

More importantly, to align the teaching and learning process to pre-defined outcomes for each topic. This approach will ensure school education is more effective and ensures students’ readiness for the need of the contemporary world. 

In Competency-based Learning, the teaching and learning experience in the class ensures that students are achieving the set learning outcomes. The pedagogy emphasises the teachers to use a student-centric approach such as collaboration, experiential learning, multidisciplinary methods such as art integration and the use of digital tools for helping students become more engaged in the process.

Competency-based learning assessments are designed ‘for the learning’ and not ‘of the learning’. Hence this assessment becomes a tool for the teachers to diagnose the learning gaps for student’s learning levels and help them achieve the desired competency. 

To achieve this objective, Competency-Based Assessment includes both objective questions such as multiple-choice questions and detailed answer questions designed to demonstrate the conceptual understanding of the subject.

Our New Education Policy (NEP-2020) lays great importance on students becoming independent learners. How can we ensure that students take more responsibility in their learning? As educators, it is time to explore new resources to make our teaching more student-centric and ensure it is engaging enough to create motivation among the learners. For example, a subject like Mathematics is a life skill for the 21st century. To empower students to achieve mastery in mathematics requires a variety of practice. With the pandemic situation, digital learning has increased leaps and bounds. Openness to explore the possibility of digital tools to optimise teaching time is the way forward.

Blended learning can be a path ahead, allowing us to spend more time to help the lagging students. While working with students in the classroom, I have found that students can build higher competency in mathematics using Navima. Navima pedagogy is proven for identifying and addressing student’s learning gaps and develop conceptual clarity through recommended practice on each math skill.

Competency-based learning is a process that will become successful with the integration of technology even after the pandemic is over. We, as educators, can make a difference by allowing students to lead the learning. Will you be the educational change maker of the 21st century? Try asking why a student should learn the unit you are running in the ongoing class. Then check if the students have clearly understood what they are required to actuate, demonstrate once that unit is over. I believe it is a simple start to this fascinating new voyage of learning.