Home Series Show What You Know

Show What You Know

Our traditional system of measuring and credentialing learning, which we have relied on for over 100 years, can no longer adjust quickly enough to continue preparing our students for success in a world quickly changing as a result of technologies like AI. Traditionally underserved students are likely to suffer the worst from this shift. Competency-based school models take advantage of new tools and strategies to enable students to learn at their own pace, any time, and everywhere, and if designed with a focus on equity they hold great promise for improving learning for all students. The shift from marking time to ‘show what you know’ and ‘move on when ready’ will take a generation to become widespread, but it has the potential to better prepare more young people for the innovation economy. This series explores where we're at in (and ways to accelerate) this shift.


Demonstrating and Assessing Mastery, and Managing Mastery Learning Data

By Scott Ellis. With learning objectives that are specific, clear and demonstrable and with mastery thresholds that are clearly defined, determining approaches for students to demonstrate mastery is a relatively straightforward two-step process.

Teachers Flip Over Flipgrid

Flipgrid (@Flipgrid) enables learners to respond to prompts with short videos—most are about a minute, but they can be a long as five minutes. The video platform has become a favorite of teachers from kindergarten to college. Launched by University of Minnesota professor Charlie Miller in 2014, it quickly caught on among educators. Today, about one in…

Scaling Competency-Based Education: Equity-Focused Strategies for Policy and Practice

By: Tom Vander Ark and Mary Ryerse. This week's episode of the Getting Smart Podcast features an in-depth look at the equity imperative behind competency-based education, current barriers to CBE, and five key points to move the field toward CBE for all.

The Case For Competency-Based Education

The global shift to competency is underway. It will better enable us to meet students where they are, ensure that they get what they need, and help them tell their unique story. Everyone involved in education has opportunities to help make the transition faster, better and more equitably.

The Case for Competency as a New Equity Agenda

By: Tom Vander Ark and Mary Ryerse. What if our education system was designed with a commitment to equity at the forefront, and was set up to help all students achieve at high levels? This post makes the case for competency-based education as a valuable tool for achieving this goal.

Show What You Know: A Landscape Analysis of Competency-Based Education

Our new report, commisioned and published today by XQ, provides an in-depth look at the current status of competency-based education in the U.S., barriers impeding its adoption, and reflections on some of the more complex transition issues.

CBE Supports at the School, Teacher and Student Levels

Getting Smart will soon be part of a panel at the iNACOL Symposium that will focus on competency-based education, and will also be part of a release of a forthcoming report on the topic. This post highlights a brief selection of our findings.

35 Competency-Based Education Advocacy & Research Organizations

The organizations discussed in this post are interesting and forward-leaning groups moving the needle forward in terms of our collective understanding of what competency education is, and what it could be.

40 Competency-Based Education Publications and Resources

We've been hard at work researching the landscape of competency-based education (CBE). The resources highlighted in this post contain valuable, thought-provoking ideas that are helpful in understanding what CBE is, how to communicate about it, and how to plan for it.

18 Examples of State Policies that Support Competency-Based Programs

In this post, we look at examples of state policies grouped by their features of flexibility from time-based systems, competency-based diplomas, acceptance of competency-based diplomas and credits by higher education, flexible learning, state assessments, and innovation pilots.