Revision as of 11:09, 14 May 2016 by Mary Cooch (talk | contribs) (What is Competency-based education?)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Competencies.

New feature
in Moodle 3.2!

What are competencies?

Competencies describe the level of understanding or proficiency of a learner in certain subject-related skills. Competency-based education (CBE), also known as Competency-based learning or Skills-based learning, refers to systems of assessment and grading where students demonstrate these competencies. In Moodle 3.1 it is possible to create and apply framewors for evaluating students against competencies in Moodle.

How is it set up?

  • Competencies may be enabled by an administrator in Site administration > Competencies.
  • Administrators can then set up competency frameworks and add competencies to them. See Competency frameworks for more information.
  • They can then create learning plan templates, add competencies to them and assign learning plans to individual selected students or to whole cohorts. See Learning plans for more information.
  • Teachers can add competencies to courses and course activities. They can view a competency breakdown report from the Administration block and rate competencies.
  • Managers and those with the relevant capabilities can review student learning plans and view any evidence of prior learning students submit.
  • Students can view their learning plans, upload evidence of prior learning and request reviews.
  • For those with the relevant capabilities, a new Learning plans block is available to be added to the dashboard (for example).

Setting up a learning plan template

  • Once you have a framework, you can then create a learning plan template. A learning plan template defines a set of competencies which you can assign to a group of users. This is better than creating individual learning plans for many different students and means you only need update the template and the changes will appear for all students.
  • Go to Site administration > Learning plans. Any existing plans are displayed here, and you can click the button 'Add new learning template' to create a new one.

Adding competencies to a learning plan template

To add competencies to a template, click its name to go to the page where you can add, edit and remove competencies. It will also show which competencies are not assigned to any course.

Once you have added competencies to the template, you can assign it to individual students, or to an entire cohort of students.

Assigning learning plans

  • Learning plans may be assigned to students individually or in bulk to a (premade) cohort.
  • Once a template has been created, click the "Edit" icon.
  • To assign a learning plan to a cohort, click 'Add cohorts to sync'


  • Search for and add your chosen cohort(s)


  • A message will appear with the number of learning plans created.


  • To assign a learning plan to an individual student, click 'Create learning plan'


  • Then search for and select the student(s) you wish to make the learning plans for:


Viewing learning plans

Anyone can see their own learning plans from their profile page, accessed from the user menu:

Learning plans in profile

When a student clicks the link they see which plans have been applied to them:

Student view of assigned learning plans

When a student clicks the name of a learning plan, they see the associated competencies. They can see their progress towards completion and also click 'Edit' to request a review of any competency:

List of competencies and requesting a review
  • Some users (e.g. supervisors) with the tool/lp:planview capability in the user context will be able to see the learning plans of other users.
  • Users with the tool/lp:planviewowndraft capability for their own user context have the ability to create a draft learning plan for themselves. A draft learning plan is only visible to users with the tool/lp:planviewdraft capability - and can be sent for approval to create an active learning plan from the draft.
  • Users with tool/lp:planmanagedraft capability can approve a draft learning plan.

Evidence of prior learning

Anyone with the tool/lp:userevidencemanageown capability can provide a list of evidence of prior learning. This can be used to demonstrate proficiency for one or more competencies.

To upload evidence of prior learning, access your own learning plans page from your profile and click on the "Evidence of prior learning" link (1) On the next page, click on the "Add new evidence" button (2) and provide as much detail about the evidence as possible (including files and urls to verify the evidence). Once the evidence is listed, you can link it to one or more competencies from any of your learning plans. Then you can request that someone reviews your competency to decide if the evidence is sufficient and rate the competency.


Course competencies

  • A course teacher can list which of the competencies they will be teaching in their course from Course administration > Course competencies. A teacher can add or remove competencies from a course here, and see which competencies have been linked to which activities. Clicking on the competency name will take the teacher to a grading page for that competency.
  • A student can also see (but not change) the competencies linked to a course from Course administration > Course competencies and will also see their current rating for each competency.

Manually rating course competencies

A course teacher can rate the students against each of the course competencies from Course administration > Reports > Competency breakdown. Select a student from the menu (1) and then click on the desired competency (2):


The page for that student will display and you can then change their rating from the dropdown (3):


Activity competencies

Competencies can be linked to activities. This means you can make sure that you have activities or resources for every competency in the course, by looking at the course competencies page and finding un-mapped competencies.

It is possible to map more than one competency to an activity, by selecting more than once from the competency drop down when setting up the activity.

It is possible to use activity completion to automatically complete - or add evidence to course competencies.

To add a competency to an activity

  1. Edit the settings for the activity
  2. In the competencies section, select one or more competencies from the list of course competencies
  3. If desired, set what to do upon activity completion - attach evidence, send for review or complete the competency
Adding competencies to an activity

The activity will then be shown under the competency on the course competencies page

Course competency with linked activity

Example of Activity completion with Activity competencies

A student must demonstrate a skill four times before they achieve a competency:

  • Create four activities (such as four assignments) with activity completion set to receiving a grade.
  • Set a pass grade from the assignment setting screen.
  • For assignments 2, 3 and 4, restrict access until the previous assignments have been completed.
  • In the assignment settings for the final assignment, expand 'Course competencies', select the required competency and set 'Upon activity completion' to 'Complete the competency'.
  • The student submits work as normal. The teacher grades work as normal. If all four assignments obtain a pass grade, the competency is automatically achieved.
Student view of competency achieved.

Course/Template/Plan Statistics

Statistics are built into the various pages. These screenshots should probably be incorporated into the other help sections describing the pages they are shown on.

Student - view competencies in a course:

Course competency progress for a student

Student - view their own learning plan:

Learning plans progress for a student

Teacher - view competencies in a course:

Course competency statistics for a teacher

Manager - view progress for all plans in a template:

Learning Plan Template statistics for a manager