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MSP News: Competency-Based Education

March 23, 2017


NEWS IN BRIEF


Announcements
1. NSF Requests Input on Future Needs for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to Support Science & Engineering Research
Contributions must be made using the submission website http://www.nsfci2030.org on or before 5:00 PM Eastern time on 4/5/17.

2. There are still a
few days left to participate!
NSF INCLUDES Video Showcase: Envisioning Impact

Thirty-six NSF-funded INCLUDES projects showcase their work to broaden participation in STEM by presenting three-minute videos of their project and discussing their work online. Monday is the last day to post questions or discuss ideas online, so don't miss out!

MSPnet Blog
1. New Blog Post: "Personalized: What questions to ask?"
Brian Drayton discusses recent research on personalized learning.

New in Library
1. "Investigating Student Exposure To Competency-Based Education," Sarah Ryan, Joshua D. Cox, Education Policy Analysis Archives, March 2017.
2. "Measuring Student Progress And Teachers' Assessment Of Student Knowledge In A Competency-Based Education System," R. Marc Brodersen, Bruce Randel, U.S. Department of Education, NCEE, IES, REL, February 2017.
3. "Overview Of Selected State Policies And Supports Related To K-12 Competency-Based Education," R. Marc Brodersen, David Yanoski, Katie Mason, Helen Apthorp, Jennifer Piscatelli, U.S. Department of Education, NCEE, IES, REL, February 2017.
4. "Looking Under The Hood Of Competency-Based Education: The Relationship Between Competency-Based Education Practices And Students' Learning Skills, Behaviors, And Dispositions," Erin Haynes, Kristina Zeiser, Wendy Surr, Alison Hauser, Lauren Clymer, Jill Walston, Catherine Bitter, Rui Yang, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, American Institutes for Research, June 2016.
5. "Policy, Pilots And The Path To Competency-Based Education: A Tale Of Three States," Karla Phillips, Carri Schneider, ExcelinEd and Getting Smart, September 2016.


DETAILS BELOW


Announcements
1. NSF Requests Input on Future Needs for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to Support Science and Engineering Research

Dear Colleague Letter: Request for Information on Future Needs for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to Support Science and Engineering Research (NSF CI 2030)

Contributions must be made using the submission website http://www.nsfci2030.org on or before 5:00 PM Eastern time on April 5, 2017

In the past two decades, advanced cyberinfrastructure has become a critical element of science and engineering research - a result of the increasing scope and accuracy of simulations of natural and engineered systems as well as the growing volume of data generated by instruments, simulations, experiments and observations. The National Science Foundation (NSF) embraces an expansive, ecosystem view of research cyberinfrastructure - spanning advanced computing resources, data and software infrastructure, workflow systems and approaches, networking, cybersecurity and associated workforce development - elements whose design and deployment are motivated by evolving research priorities as well as the dynamics of the scientific process. The critical role of this broad spectrum of shared cyberinfrastructure resources, capabilities and services - and their integration - in enabling science and engineering research has been reaffirmed by the National Strategic Computing Initiative, which was announced in July 2015, and in the National Academies' 2016 report on Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S. Science and Engineering in 2017-2020. While these efforts are computing-centric, they expose the inherent inseparability of computing from the larger cyber ecosystem. With this DCL, NSF seeks input that provides a holistic view of the future needs for advanced cyberinfrastructure for advancing the Nation's research enterprise.

In 2009, NSF undertook a community-informed analysis of cyberinfrastructure needs that led to the formulation of a vision, a strategy, and a set of programmatic initiatives together comprising the current NSF-wide effort entitled Cyberinfrastructure for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21). Since that analysis, many changes have taken place in terms of scientific challenges and opportunities as well as technological progress. To continue to take full advantage of the potential provided by cyberinfrastructure to advance science and engineering research, NSF is beginning to formulate an updated strategy as well as concrete plans for future investments in this area. In this endeavor, NSF will focus on complementing and supporting forward-looking cyberinfrastructure for research that institutions and universities are unlikely to be able to deploy on their own. In addition, NSF seeks to stimulate innovative use of cyberinfrastructure for research to spur advances not otherwise possible, particularly in emerging areas of science and engineering research. Finally, NSF supports the exploration of approaches to sustainability that address the unique needs of research cyberinfrastructure, including the scientific, technical and human aspects of cyberinfrastructure.

In this Request for Information (RFI), NSF encourages community input to inform the Foundation's strategy and plans for an advanced cyberinfrastructure that will enable the frontiers of science and engineering to continue to advance over the next decade and beyond (NSF CI 2030). This whole-of-NSF activity recognizes that researchers in different disciplines may need different resources; may have differing priorities for access, interoperability, and continuity; and may require external expertise to address the most critical problems in their discipline. We therefore strongly encourage researchers in all fields of science, engineering and education to respond to this Request for Information.

For More Information: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17031/nsf17031.jsp


2. There are still a
few days left to participate!
NSF INCLUDES Video Showcase: Envisioning Impact

Thirty-six NSF-funded INCLUDES projects showcase their work to broaden participation in STEM by presenting three-minute videos of their project and discussing their work online. Monday is the last day to post questions or discuss ideas online, so don't miss out!


MSPnet Blog
1. New Blog Post: "Personalized: What questions to ask?"
Brian Drayton discusses recent research on personalized learning.


New in Library
1. "Investigating Student Exposure To Competency-Based Education," Sarah Ryan, Joshua D. Cox, Education Policy Analysis Archives, March 2017.

"In recent years, most U.S. states have revised policy by providing schools at least some flexibility to move away from the Carnegie unit system, with its focus on credits and 'seat time,' toward competency-based policies that link student advancement to mastery of content. Yet, there is little systematically collected information about how competency-based education is implemented, making it difficult to evaluate the impact on student outcomes. Using data from 600 students in grades 9-12 and confirmatory factor analytic techniques, we report initial reliability and validity results from the pilot administration of a survey designed to capture student exposure to elements that have been described as essential to a competency-based, student-centered model for learning and instruction. These elements include mastery-based progression, personalization, flexible assessment, and the development of specific skills and dispositions. Results suggest that the survey offers a way to reliably measure and study variation in the implementation of competency-based education. Importantly, the survey provides a way to capture implementation from the student perspective, leveraging the fact that student reports about their classroom experiences may be a particularly reliable source of information about instructional practice."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31753


2. "Measuring Student Progress And Teachers' Assessment Of Student Knowledge In A Competency-Based Education System," R. Marc Brodersen, Bruce Randel, U.S. Department of Education, NCEE, IES, REL, February 2017.

"Competency-based education is a system where students must demonstrate mastery of course content to be promoted to the next class or grade, with students allowed to take as much or as little time necessary to achieve a comprehensive understanding of course content, rather than spend a prerequisite number of hours in a class. Students are placed into a class based on their current level of understanding rather than their traditional, age-based grade. This report describes how long students took to complete a competency-based class when they were in a class that was below, at, or above their traditional grade level. The report also examines the relationship between teachers' judgments of student competency and student performance on a state achievement test. The study found that the majority of students took four academic quarters to complete a class. On average, students who were below grade level took less time to complete their classes than students who were in a class that corresponded to their traditional grade level. Teacher ratings of student competency had a small but positive association with student academic achievement and predicted the state academic proficiency levels of 40 percent of mathematics students and 59 percent of literacy students. As school and district leaders implement or contemplate implementing competency-based education, this report provides information about how a competency-based education system in one district operates."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31754


3. "Overview Of Selected State Policies And Supports Related To K-12 Competency-Based Education," R. Marc Brodersen, David Yanoski, Katie Mason, Helen Apthorp, Jennifer Piscatelli, U.S. Department of Education, NCEE, IES, REL, February 2017.

"This report categorizes and summarizes state laws and regulations relevant to competency based-education. Competency-based education is a system where students must demonstrate mastery of course content to be promoted to the next class or grade rather than spend a prerequisite number of hours in a class, with students allowed to take as much or as little time necessary to achieve a comprehensive understanding of course content. Policies associated with competency-based education are summarized for the seven states in the Regional Educational Laboratory Central region (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming), as well five states identified as being proactive in aligning their policies to support competency-based education (Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and Oregon). This study also categorizes the different types of assistance and resources these states have provided to intentionally support competency-based education. State laws and regulations were classified into the following three broad policy categories: credit flexibility, academic progression flexibility, and individual learning options. Identified categories of state-provided supports for competency-based education included informational and technical assistance resources, support for educational collaboratives, and funding for pilot programs and demonstration sites. Descriptions and examples of each policy and support category are provided. State and school administrators can use the information in this report to learn about the policies and supports in their state and others as they consider implementing competency-based education."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31755


4. "Looking Under The Hood Of Competency-Based Education: The Relationship Between Competency-Based Education Practices And Students' Learning Skills, Behaviors, And Dispositions," Erin Haynes, Kristina Zeiser, Wendy Surr, Alison Hauser, Lauren Clymer, Jill Walston, Catherine Bitter, Rui Yang, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, American Institutes for Research, June 2016.

"Competency-based education is gaining popularity in schools nationwide, and research is just beginning to catch up. A growing practice, competency-based education makes student mastery of learning goals--rather than seat time--the metric to determine student credit and progression. Competency-based education approaches can offer students greater opportunities for deep and personalized learning; as students work toward achieving competency at their own pace, they typically experience more individualized support as well as greater autonomy, flexibility, and responsibility over their own learning--conditions that we would expect to increase academic engagement, motivation, self-efficacy, and other learning capacities that predict academic success. This study takes a closer look at how schools implement competency-based education, and examines how ninth grade students' experiences of competency-based education practices are related to these 'learning capacities,' or the skills, behaviors, and dispositions that students need to learn effectively. Through a careful analysis of competency-based education in a group of high schools in three states, researchers sought to understand which competency-based education practices, if any, are associated with positive changes in students' learning capacities during their first year of high school."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31756


5. "Policy, Pilots And The Path To Competency-Based Education: A Tale Of Three States," Karla Phillips, Carri Schneider, ExcelinEd and Getting Smart, September 2016.

"Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A Tale of Three States, produced by ExcelinEd in partnership with Getting Smart, highlights how and why state CBE pilot programs offer a promising strategy by telling the story of three states with the same goal, but different paths. The three featured states--Idaho, Utah and Florida--had different entry points, different methods, different champions and different timelines. In addition to providing details on each state's path to CBE pilots, the report offers the policy context, a timeline and key lessons from each state. While there is much variation in their stories, there are common themes that emerged and formed the basis of the report's recommendations. These recommendations include prioritizing CBE communications and messaging, designing and passing pilot legislation and looking ahead to implementation."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31757