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Understanding & Implementing Competencies

1. What is a Competency Framework?

Within Moodle, a competency describes the level of understanding or proficiency of a learner in a certain subject related skill. A competency framework is an organised collection of competencies.

Competencies can be used for a multitude of purposes. For example an organisation may wish to implement competencies in order to describe a staff member’s progress for their CPD (continual professional development).

Quick examples include:

  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Professionalism & Integrity

Competencies are a great way of assessing people by being able to clarify if they can perform a specific task, or understand a specific objective. Numerical grades don’t always provide enough meaningful data or properly document how well a person is achieving something. Within workplace learning this can be a particularly powerful tool.


Creating a list of competencies is only the first step. To rate learners against these competencies you need to create a scale. A scale allows you to evaluate/rate a learner’s performance and can be simple or complex depending on requirements. Within a scale you must mark the point at which a user is classed as proficient in that skill if that status is reached. For example (colours used for emphasis):


Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Competency:

The learner can explain the state of hypnosis.

Monitor pupils’ progress through observation, marking, targeted questioning and discussion.

Ability to conduct presentations to external clients, regulators & policy makers.

Scale:

Not met

Met (proficient)

Not on track

On Track (proficient)

Got it

Cannot perform

Can perform with supervision

Can perform with limited supervision

Can perform without supervision (proficient)

Can teach others


Through the use of competency frameworks and attached scales, course creators can gain more of an insight into where learners are struggling and consequently how they can help learners understand areas of difficulty. Learners will also have the ability to see how their understanding is being rated against key competencies.