The Competencies vs. Credit Hours Conundrum

The Future(s) Initiative recently hosted Dr. Daniel Hickey, Professor at Indiana University’s School of Education, for a conversation on assessment practices and micro-credentials.

During a workshop with Georgetown faculty and staff explored the tensions that surface alongside major advances in instructional technology, particularly focusing on those that have emerged from massive open online courses, e-portfolios, and digital badges. On the one hand, some innovators aim to leverage these new technologies to support and measure self-paced learning around specific competencies, questioning the efficacy of conventional course credit simply tied to seat-time. On the other hand, however, many educators also believe that this approach bypasses the crucial forms of inquiry and social interaction that courses support. Dr. Hickey offered insightful commentary on the subject, sharing a host of promising efforts that seek to reconcile these tensions by integrating traditional learning with robust, technology-driven learning analytics.

After completing his Ph.D. in Psychology at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Hickey entered into a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Performance Assessment at Education Testing Service before becoming a faculty member at IU’s School of Education. He studies participatory approaches to assessment, validity, feedback, and motivation in technology-based contexts.

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