CBL: From Theory to Practice

  • Dates

    July 27 - August 21, 2020
  • Cost for members

    $800
  • Cost for non-members

    $1000
  • Early Bird Deadline

    March 31, 2020
  • Early Bird Cost for Members

    $700
  • Early Bird Cost for Non-Members

    $900

A new online program, “Competency-Based Learning: From Theory to Practice,” will debut in July 2020.

GOA is excited to announce a new online program, "Competency-Based Learning: From Theory to Practice," which will certify teachers in competency-based learning design, a system that prioritizes mastery and personalization over high-stakes testing and seat time. This unique four week online program takes a competency-based approach to understanding competency-based learning. Participants are matched with an expert coach who will help them create a personalized learning pathway through the 5 shifts of CBL implementation. Participants will leverage relevant research, voices from experts in the field, and GOA’s CBL Toolkit to design the competencies, learning experiences, and feedback plans needed to reimagine student learning.

This intensive four week program kicks off with an orientation where participants will meet with a GOA coach to set goals and create a personalized pathway. Each week participants will conduct a deep dive into learning science research, explore the current state of competency-based learning at their schools, and design curriculum materials informed by research. Coaches will support participants by providing synchronous and asynchronous feedback on their design work. At the end of each week, participants will be meet as a small cohort on Zoom to exchange feedback and articulate next steps. Participants can expect 6-8 hours a week of work, including a weekly, 90-minute synchronous video call with a coach and teammates. During the 4 weeks of the program, participants will have unlimited access to a coach for feedback on any curriculum materials developed. After the 4-week program concludes, the course will remain open for the full school-year so that participants can continue to access the resources.

All participants receive a free CBL Toolkit.

About this program:

Competency-based learning has taken a strong foothold in the education landscape. Educators are enthralled by the promise of CBL to prioritize student agency, sustain equitable practices, and promote transfer and authentic learning experiences that will prepare students for life beyond the classroom. Yet, what does it look like to actually transition to a competency-based approach in the classroom?

The intent of this online program is to guide educators in translating the theoretical underpinnings of CBL into sustainable classroom practices. By imitating a CBL environment, this online program will allow educators to experience some of the competency-based practices they hope to implement in their own classrooms. This course is ideal for educators who are ready to implement CBL-based practices today.

What will I learn:

  • The learning science research informing competency-based learning practices, including readings from Joe Feldman, Thomas Guskey, Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine, Chris Sturgis, Grant Wiggins, and Dylan William
  • A replicable process for designing competencies, learning outcomes, rubrics, and learning experiences
  • The elements of your school context that contain CBL-adjacent elements and the opportunities for expansion of CBL-informed practices

What will I create:

  • A competency architecture you can use in your classroom, even if your school isn’t moving fully in a CBL direction
  • Rubrics and feedback plans that engage students as partners in their own learning
  • Learning experiences that leverage student voice and choice and provide opportunities for formative feedback, reassessment, and differentiation
  • A framework to help you rethink time in your current scheduling model to support sustainable CBL-informed practices

What’s the time commitment:

  • Total of 6-8 hours/week
    • 4-6 hours of asynchronous work
    • Weekly deliverable submitted ahead of coaching call
    • A weekly 90-minute Zoom call with your coach and cohort to give and receive feedback on deliverables and discuss next steps

Want to know more? Review the detailed syllabus for more information about this program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should sign up for this program?

This program is designed for teachers who are trying to make changes in the classroom. You can sign up as an individual or as part of a school team. Educators from both GOA member schools and educators from Mastery Transcript Consortium member organizations receive a discount. This discount is applied at registration.

What’s the time commitment?

Expect a total of 6-8 hours/week. This includes 4-6 hours of asynchronous work with a weekly deliverable submitted ahead of coaching call, and a weekly 90-minute Zoom call with your coach and cohort to give and receive feedback on deliverables and discuss next steps.

What kind of support will I receive?

You’ll have a coach who will be able to provide you with feedback on anything you produce across the 4 weeks of the program. In addition to a coach, you’ll also have a cohort group you’ll connect with weekly.

Will I get content-specific support on implementing CBL in my discipline?

Given that at its core CBL is about transdisciplinary, transferrable skills, this online program is designed to equip you with the skills needed to implement CBL in your classroom. This program presumes you bring content expertise and can identify relevant content knowledge.

Will I receive a credential?

GOA can provide you with clock hours through Washington State OSPI. To determine whether these clock hours are transferrable to where you teach, please contact your state’s Department of Education. Additionally, GOA can also provide you a certificate certifying the hours you spent on the program. At the conclusion of the program, please contact hello@globalonlineacademy.org to request your certificate.

What am I going to get out of this program?

This program is designed to help you prepare for your upcoming school year. Depending on the modules you select to complete, you could walk away with an articulated competency structure, rubrics, feedback plans, and assessments.

Is competency-based learning (CBL) the same as standards-based grading (SBG)?

No. Competency-based learning, sometimes referred to as mastery learning or proficiency-based learning, is different from standards-based grading. SBG is a framework for thinking about grading and assessment, whereas CBL is a framework for designing learning experiences in which students advance based upon mastery of competencies as opposed to seat time. To learn more, check out Matt Townesly’s post in CompetencyWorks.

What if I can’t do the program during the dates allotted?

Unfortunately, because the relational aspects of this program in the form of the coaching and cohort-based model are so important, we can’t accommodate you outside of the program dates. We do welcome and encourage you to sign up for the next time the program is offered.

I am a school leader, and I want to sign my faculty up to do this program as part of our ongoing professional development work. Can you offer this program at a different date?

If you have a minimum of 15 educators you want to sign up for the CBL Online Program, GOA can offer a customized partnership. Please complete this inquiry form to register your interest.

Should I take this course even if my school isn’t moving to CBL?

Yes! You don’t need to be a part of a CBL school in order to integrate some of the practices that this system enables. This program is about practical ways in which teachers can implement CBL in their classrooms.

Will this help my school adopt CBL?

Maybe. At its core, this program is designed for teachers looking to implement CBL-inspired changes in their classrooms. That’s not to say that your participation in this program won’t inspire your school leaders. That being said, GOA does coach school leaders on strategic change. Please complete this inquiry form if you’re interested in coaching on change management.

I don’t know anything about CBL or I just want to dip my toe in the water. Is this program for me?

If you’re at the very beginning stages of your understanding of competency-based learning, we recommend you check out GOA’s Competency-Based Learning Toolkit to see if you think this program might be right for you. You can also download GOA’s CBL Handbook.

For more information:

Download the syllabus

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