Reflective Attributes – Key for CBE

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Continuing in our twelve-part blog series designed to help students know if enrolling in a Competency Based Education (CBE) program is a good decision for them, today we visit “Reflective Attributes”.

The twelve factors that will be explored are experience, motivation, availability of time, support, CBE program knowledge, educational background, technology skills, financial assistance, reflective attributes, action attributes, academic skills, and resource management.

Reflective Attributes – Part 9 of A Dozen Things To Think About Before Starting A CBE Program


Know thyself!

This statement has been sage advice for centuries.  Carved on the entrance to the Luxor Temple which was constructed about 1400 BC on the east bank of the Nile River in Egypt is the following statement, “The body is the house of God.  That is why it is said, ‘Know Thyself.’”

Later the Greeks echoed the same sentiment as they inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi the phrase “Gnothi Seauton” which can be translated “Know Thyself.”  This inscription is shown on this tile mosaic.reflective attributes

These ancient philosophers recognized the value of having a reflective attribute known as introspection.  Introspection is defined as the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings.

Why is introspection important for a person in a CBE program?

The first reason is because many CBE programs are structured in a way that the student must be self directed.  One of the fundamental differences in CBE programs and traditional college degree programs is that learning is not confined to “seat time.”  In most traditional programs the amount of learning is measured by how long a person has been in class.  But most CBE programs are structured so that a student can move at their own pace based on what they already know about the content.  So since a student is ultimately in control of their own pace of learning, they must be self-aware and self-regulated to ensure that they are progressing an an appropriate pace.

The second reason is that in a CBE program you may be able to receive academic credit by demonstrating and/or documenting your prior learning.  The first step in the process of doing this is taking internal inventory of what you already know.  At first this would seem to be an easy process.  But imagine sitting down to write a list of everything you know.  Only when a person is self aware can they adequately complete this task.  Fortunately, CBE programs typically present you with a list of competencies required in the program and you document whether or not you already possess that competency.

So as you are considering a CBE program ask yourself, “How well do I know myself?”  It just may be that one of the hidden benefits of enrolling in a CBE program is this heightened awareness of yourself.

This blog series is provided by Dr. Mac Adkins who is the CEO and Founder of SmarterServices which is the provider of the CBE Readiness Indicator which is powered by the SmarterMeasure Assessment Engine.    Mac holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and for the past three decades has served in leadership positions at multiple universities and for the past fourteen years has served as the CEO and Founder of SmarterServices.  During this period of time SmarterServices has measured levels of student readiness of over 3.8 million students from over 500 colleges and universities. 

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