By Susan V. Monjan
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Additional resources for Critical Issues in Competency Based Education
She was sure that she had "wasted" eight weeks in the "wrong" course because nothing was being taught about how to help retarded people learn to keep their living areas clean. This particular student had chosen a course in which she assumed that she would work only on those specific skills that would lead to her demonstration of her very specific behavioral objective. She did not understand that basic theory can be applied to many problems and that it would ultimately enable her to do more than just teach adults to keep an area tidy.
We think that the measurement rationale that has become the premise for eliminating appraisal skills from competency-based education is incorrect. As discussed above, evaluation is undertaken not merely to measure whether on one occasion the person successfully performs the defined task, but also as a strategy to assess whether there is evidence that the person has the ability to perform the task. All measures of ability are, by definition, inferential, and require that construct validation be established.
If the skills which the test measures do not correlate with the skills which well-functioning attorneys demonstrate, then the test lacks concurrent validity. To determine the concurrent validity of the proposed test, you would first need to identify practicing lawyers. You would then give them the test you had devised to see if it differentiated between the lawyers who were or were not effective at defending clients. If your test could do this it would have high concurrent validity. CONCLUSIONS Competency-based educators have to realize that there are no direct ways to measure whether students have acquired an ability.
Critical Issues in Competency Based Education by Susan V. Monjan