Thackaberry, Alexandera (2017). Competency-based education models: An emerging taxonomy. Doctoral dissertation (Education), Kent State University.

Abstract: Competency-based education (CBE) degree programs have grown significantly over the course of the past few years. Within the field of CBE, experts have differing views as to what elements are most critical to a high-quality CBE program. The purpose of this Q methodology study is to determine what models of CBE programs emerge from an investigation of what experts perceive to be the most essential and least essential components of a high-quality program. In this study, 33 experts in the field of CBE sorted 72 statements about multiple aspects of CBE programs. Data collection included the Q sorts, a demographic institutional survey, follow-up questions and brief biographies of participants. From this research, two primary factors were revealed, one which emphasizes the curricular elements of competencies and assessments as primary, the second of which emphasizes fiscal sustainability and business processes along with competencies. Nine of the study participants demonstrated mixed results, sharing aspects of each factor in their results. This study provides a basis for further research into specifically what components should be universal across CBE programs, and which are dependent upon institutional preference or program design.

Alexandera Thackaberry <thackaberry@lsu.edu> is currently Vice Provost for Digital and Continuing Education, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (USA).

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