A Competency-Based Mobile App Puts Students at the Center of Design

Could a mobile-powered platform be the future for competency-based learning?

There is a competency-based educational shift under way in higher education. The learning method allows students to pursue career-focused topics at a self-directed pace, demonstrating mastery of skills in order to progress to the next stage of education.

The teaching method, also known as direct assessment, has been gathering steam across higher education. The University of Wisconsin has found success through its Flexible Option plan, a competency-based educational curriculum for students who want to pursue a degree, but don’t have time for traditional classes. And Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute rebranded itself as a competency-based school in 2014.

There’s also a convergence of curriculum and mobile learning going on. Flat World Education is now offering a competency-based pilot program at Brandman University, allowing students to pursue a business administration bachelor’s degree purely on a mobile device in less than three years for approximately $13,500, says Flat World CEO Chris Etesse.

Flat World offers digital learning solutions, including digital textbooks, courseware and learning platforms — all with an emphasis on mobile access. The company’s mobile mastery coalesced with Brandman University’s desire to expand its student reach through a new, competency-based educational offering in 2014, and so a partnership was born.

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