Creating a competency

Creating a complete competency structure involves two different tasks: creating the elements that make up the structure: the competency; the learning objectives; and the activities (as part of course building), and linking these elements together into parent-child relationships.

When creating a competency structure, you can link elements together as you create them or you can create all of the elements independently and link them together later. (Being able to link elements together later lets you create more complex, overlapping structures—for example, a learning objective attached to two different competencies.)

Creating a competency involves the following steps:

  1. Create any rubrics that are used for manual assessment activities.
  2. Create any assessment activities (e.g. quizzes, dropbox folders, or discussion topics).
  3. Create the competency element for the top of the structure.
  4. Create and attach learning objectives.
  5. Associate learning objectives with course activities.

Depending on the complexity of the structure being created and the way it is used, there might be additional steps involved.

The process is more involved if you:

Create a competency

  1. On the Competencies List page, click Competency from the New button.
  2. Enter a Name and Description for the competency.

    Tip  Use a name that clearly identifies the competency.

  3. Select the appropriate settings for the remaining properties:
    • Status  Determines whether users can complete the competency and whether changes can be made to the competency’s definition. The status field might not be available.
    • Additional Identifier  This field typically refers to an academic standard related to your competency.
    • Make Competency and its children visible to users  Controls whether course participants can see the competency and its attached learning objectives and activities.
    • Ready for versioning   If set to "Yes", any time a change is made to the competency's definition, the existing version is saved in the database and the version number of the competency is incremented. This setting might not be available.
    • Allow re-evaluation of users who have achieved this Competency  Controls whether users who have completed the competency will have their accomplishment re-evaluated (and possibly revoked) if any changes are made to the competency structure. Depending on the nature of the competency, you might or might not want people to have to meet new requirements after a change is made.
  4. If you are creating a competency in an org unit above the course offering level, you can click Add Org Units to share the competency with org units beneath it.
  5. In the Achievement Criteria section, select how a competency will be achieved from the drop-down list. A competency can be achieved once it is accomplished in any one org unit that shares it, or it can be achieved after it is accomplished in all org units where it exists.
  6. Click Save.

Alternative ways to create a competency

Method Advantage
From the Structure page of a learning objective, select Add Parent > New Competency Creates a new competency and automatically attaches the learning objective as a child
Copy an existing competency If the new competency’s properties or structure are similar to an existing one, this saves time

Creating nested competencies structures

You can “nest” competencies and learning objectives by attaching one competency beneath another competency, or one learning objective beneath another learning objective to create structures with as many levels as you want.

You can create nested learning objectives in cases where you have one learning objective that is very broad in scope. Breaking it into smaller sub-objectives means you can provide opportunities for users to complete the objective in smaller pieces, which might more accurately reflect the learning involved in the objective. For example, suppose you have a competency called “Critical Thinking,” and one of its associated learning objectives is learning how to “Evaluate Arguments.” You might want to break this objective down into smaller sub-learning objectives, like “Distinguish between Inductive & Deductive Arguments,” “Identify Premises & Conclusions,” “Develop Counter-arguments & Objections,” and so on.

If you nest two competencies, the sub-competency is still a competency in its own right; it will have its own definition, its own status, its own visibility settings, and so on. A nested sub-competency  is displayed twice to course participants, once on its own and once as a child of its parent competency. Because the sub-competency is also a competency itself, nested competencies are ideal for situations where one competency is a prerequisite for another or where you want to distinguish between different levels of proficiency in a given domain. For example, you might have to complete the competency “Flute (basic proficiency)” as a part of completing “Flute (intermediate proficiency)”; or you might have to complete a standard B.A. in History before completing an Honors B.A.

See also


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