Competency Based Learning: Notes From A Friendly Critic

Learning is not Linear. Creating and not stifling capable people is a challenge in the ongoing learning needs of adults. Very applicae to medical education.

Heutagogy Community of Practice


This piece was stimulated by an article circulated on Twitter that the US higher education industry is flirting with competency based learning (CBL) as a framework for learning processes and outcomes. I am also currently entangled in the spider web that CBL has become in Australia. It seems the planets are in alignment to get a discussion going.

Let me preface what I am going to say here with the claim I am not an enemy of CBL. I used to write papers on CBL in the 1990s and annoy the hell out of those wedded to what was a fast growing competency movement in Australia. No matter how many times I repeated this opening statement about my motives at conferences and other forums, the assumption was that I was the competency anti-Christ come to burst the bubble.

In fact I have referred to competence, the acquisition of skills and…

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