Why is the competence-based approach important in the education system?

Why is the competence-based approach important in the education system?

The competency approach is not a teaching method but a way of organizing training to make more sense and to help students understand why they have to learn certain content, explains  Anastassis Kozanitis, speaker of the Assessment Workshop and rubrics in the context of competencies.

The Workshop, organized by the CDU, is aimed at academics, school directors, learning management directors, teachers training leaders, innovation and academic quality managers, curricular management, quality assurance managers and accreditation and teachers in general.

But why  Kozanitis do you consider the competency approach so important?He is also a psychologist and professor in the didactics department at theUniversité du Québec à Montréal in Canada. One of the most important features of the competency approach is the explanation of the rationale for each subject, the link between them, and their contribution to the profile of the graduate.

“In the traditional way, University careers identify a series of subjects, some compulsory, others elective. Students take the subjects without knowing the link between them, or without someone justifying their reason for being.”

The competency-based approach seeks to improve coordination in the training of students. Decisions are taken in collegiality and the responsibility for training is evenly distributed among the actors.

“That responsibility leads them to think about activities in different terms because what is important is not only if the students learned the contents of each subject, but also how and when to use these contents to solve real problems or to fix situations in the professional world.

This combination serves to develop higher cognitive capacities, such as analysis, critical thinking, creativity, scientific judgment, etc., and to foster the development of effective aspects, such as values, attitudes, interpersonal, communicative, leadership, commitment, among others. ”

The competency approach involves students in a much more profound and active way in their training, proposes challenging activities and encourages motivation

What are the traditional evaluative methods less useful in determining whether the student is proficient or not, and why?
“Any method that asks students to repeat or replicate answers learned from memory or apply knowledge to closed problems where there is only one way to answer, is not appropriate to verify if the student has developed the competencies of his career.”


Can you reveal to us and explain to us at least one method that allows checking the competencies of the students?
“In a perfect world where there is no limit to resources, it would put the student in the face of a real and authentic work situation, where he has to render the service or produce the product for the client, the patient or the user who needed.

As this situation is rare in our educational systems, we can use methods that simulate such work situations, either through the case (written or videos), simulated projects, tasks in laboratories, simulation software using computers, role-playing, etc.

Most of these methods involve the production process, feedback, reflection and new production, fundamental for the development of competencies “.


The rubrics, which will also be the object of study in the Evaluation Workshop and rubrics in the context of competencies, is a tool that allows judging the quality of a work or performance through precise and explicit criteria.

“The use of the rubrics is pertinent when there is more than one way to do the task or the work.It is usually a table where we indicate the components and criteria associated with the components in the column on the left side. Each cell has a precise description that explains each component according to the level observed “.

Advantages of rubrics in students


  • “To know in advance and with more precision, in what way they will be evaluated”.
  • “Know the criteria and scale of quality that describes what is considered as a good job”.
  • “It also allows qualitative and quantitative feedback on the good and how it can be improved.”
  • “It avoids biases associated with the evaluation and ensures a certain equity among the students”.


Advantages of rubrics in teachers

  • “It allows a certain objectivity when judging the quality of the works”.
  • “Accelerate the task of correction and feedback”.
  • “It diminishes the answers on the part of the students and along tends to increase the quality of the works”.

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