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New Report Outlines IT Requirements for Competency-Based Education

CompetencyWorks and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) have released a new report, Re-Engineering Information Technology: Design Considerations for Competency Education, which identifies the technological requirements for a competency-based education model.

According to the report, K-12 educational institutions need to revamp their information technology (IT) systems "to focus and report competency-based information of each student's demonstrated, true progress in real time." The report, which was based on interviews and research, defines competency-based education and its ideal characteristics, describes design considerations for IT systems that support competency-based education, discusses current practices and information systems in the context of competency-based education, and addresses new and developing IT systems for education.

The report outlines four key requirements of new student-centered educational technologies:

  • IT systems that support student profiles and standards-based, personalized learning plans;
  • Collection of student-level data to enable analysis of the effectiveness of instructional approaches;
  • School accountability systems focused on progress in learning; and
  • IT enterprise architecture that supports integration of different teaching and learning systems.

"Our school information systems need to become more intelligent around student learning and competency development," said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of iNACOL, in a prepared statement. "Today's systems need to do more than act as electronic grade books with end-of-year test scores. We need to build smart, mature information technology systems that provide students and teachers with detailed levels of proficiency over time. Advanced IT systems are needed that integrate with personalized digital learning resources, support students by building e-portfolios of demonstrated knowledge and skills, and offer multiple pathways to competency. New systems must capture meaningful assessments down to the level of the academic standard."

The complete report is available for download at

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].