This is a collection of best MyLC and Competency-Based-Learning practices used by some of our power-user schools. Check back for more ideas or contact us if you want to share some of your own great solutions.
It is important to note that few schools implement all of these practices, and that there are not right and wrong ways to design a pedagogy. Most schools are on a very personal journey from standards to competency-based practices.
Since MyLC tasks (our name for assignments) can be searched, copied, and reused, designing your tasks with a strategy in mind can be huge time saver.
Things to consider when building a task:
Design your tasks with the intention that you will use them again.
Just like in naming assignments or tasks, having naming conventions for your learning experiences (Seminars, Workshops, Expeditions, etc) can save you some time down the road.
Things to Consider
It should be noted that many MyLC users design the tool to make their learning experiences just traditional classes - like Algebra I, or English II. This works just fine, but our bias is that learning should be organized under experiences, and the software is tuned to support this. So instead of “Algebra I" where all the competencies for Algebra I are there. we hope you consider using MyLC to organized exciting, dynamic, relevant learning experiences and embed the relevant competencies. These experiences can then be copied and reused later.
After all, which would you rather take:
Here are some discussion to have with your team to think about before customizing MyLC for your pedagogy.
Like many other components of MyLC, you can do whatever you want to do. Our bias however is or whole number scoring for both your evidence scores and final scores. Why?
Instead of giving “0s” for assignments, many schools have adopted a technique of giving grade codes that are more neutral for incomplete tasks. For instance “ONT” can be used to indicate “Opportunity Not Taken." In a pure CBE environment, it may be that this assignment isn't actually needed to show competency.
Making simple changes such as adding neutral feedback options can be a good step in moving your standards-based curriculum towards CBE. This can begin to foster a culture of “feedback” vs “grading” even if it is put in to practice in just a few places.
In MyLC, you can set special scores and indicate whether these scores move the goal progress forward. On the student side (and in the parent report) students see the textual explanation and not the special score. For example, “S” could be mapped to a label of “Submitted” where there is no evaluative score, but does move their goal progress forward. “ONT” could be mapped to the label of “Opportunity Not Taken” where the score doesn't move the progress bar forward or backward, but it does give the neutral feedback to the learner.
Students in KM Perform (School for Arts and Performance in Wales,WI - kmperform.com) are given a weekly assignment to email their progress reports to their parent or guardian. They can do this directly from MyLC with our gmail integration, but this concept can be applied regardless of tool you use. In MyLC the student advisor is automatically copied, creating a conversation thread that has been powerful. Because the email comes directly from the student (and from their own email account - not the tool), KM Perform has seen engagement like never before. An Important step was to give students a template to explain the data for the first time. This is helpful since progress monitoring in CBE still can be a challenge or parents.
A key strategy in the Kettle Moraine School District was to change grading policy so that courses are transcripted upon completion of the course. (similar to how they are transcripted in college) This means there is no partial credit or report card. In a CBE course this is critical if the student is earning credit based on master earning credit based on master and not time. In a time-based model, credit is assumed to be symmetrical (i.e. the amount of credit in term one is the same as the amount in term two). But in a CBE model a student may complete 4 competencies in term one and 6 in term two. Transcripting grades mid-term means you are weighting the grade - traditionally this is not an issue, but in a CBE environment this defeats the intent. Waiting until the end of course also makes sense if students are given the opportunity to improve final scores on competencies.
In Kettle Moraine simple change was made for all courses to make the transition to CBE down the road more seamless. The connection to college-practices makes logical sense to stakeholders.
Many people forget that MyLC an be used to track other things than competencies or evidence. Start by having a “School Resource” activity to serve as a resource bank or repository for your school or program. This card will appear on the student home screen and you can use it to organized your most common forms or handouts. You can also use this activity card as a communication tool to post and email announcements. And whenever you place a new item in the resource card, students will see notification in their activity feed. The more you invest in putting needed and wanted information in your tools, the better your adoption rate will be.
We have even seen a school that has membership in national music honor society use an activity to track service points for their membership requirement. The ˆ is then responsible for submitting all evidence of their volunteer work. The teacher validates the experience by using the task score field to capture how many points the activity is worth. Since the task score field doesn't automatically map to competencies (unless you tell it to)
This is a great step towards anytime/anywhere learning. Because after-all, you can tag ANYTHING in MyLC to a competency. So volunteer evidence could also be evidence of an academic competency. You may not be ready for this now, but using resource and experience activities in MyLC is a step towards getting you there.