Innovation in Higher Ed

Online and blended learning models, competency-based education, alternative providers of education, along with a range of other innovative approaches to higher education have emerged. While these innovative models present key opportunities to increase transparency around learning, lower the costs of instruction, help promote student success, or even permit greater flexibility for nontraditional students, they also pose  risks if the focus is not on outcomes. While it may be tempting for federal, state, or institutional policy makers to see these innovations as a quick or cheap fix to some of their higher education woes, simply allowing “innovation” without a focus on quality and outcomes could leave students and taxpayers at risk of sub-par education.

Competency Based Education

Competency-based education (CBE) is an innovative model based on the idea that students should be awarded credit based on demonstrated learning and mastery of critical concepts, rather than time spent in the classroom.