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Rasmussen College currently offers 15 Flex Choice ® Competency-Based Education programs to nearly 2,000 students. These CBE programs include associate, bachelor, and master’s degree. They launched in 2016 in a course- and credit-based design employing a disaggregated faculty model with instructional and assessment faculty. At Rasmussen College, an increasing number of faculty are showing interest in mixing their teaching responsibilities between traditional and CBE – or shifting to CBE entirely. Approximately 200 faculty have taught in CBE courses and dozens more progress through CBE training each term.
Weekly web-based synchronous classroom sessions delivered by instructional faculty provide content instruction and allow students to collaborate regarding course competencies and their corresponding authentic assessments. Asynchronous recordings are also provided to CBE learners. The purpose of the live sessions is to empower students to control their own learning experiences and to increase their self-efficacy, promote metacognitive awareness by providing real-world discussion, and prompt interaction between students in a self-paced learning environment. Faculty set their own times for these live classroom sessions, a maximum of seven of which are offered each week based on student need.
Rasmussen College assessment faculty focus on the rich and personalized feedback on deliverables and project-based assessments. All feedback given on assignments clearly and directly references specific grading rubric elements. This is done through the use of student-facing rubrics within the online course which allow faculty to click on the rubric column which aligns with student performance prior to providing personalized feedback. This grading and feedback is provided to learners within 48 hours of submission.
In order to ensure quality and consistency in student expectations, CBE faculty meet with their course faculty counterparts to confer on competencies and identify the essential elements of each of the grading rubrics to ensure the collaborative live sessions deliver the essential elements to students. Meeting with other faculty regarding live courses and realtime student work is one example of change to the Rasmussen College faculty culture.
To ensure support of our faculty, Rasmussen provides a weekly CBE faculty meeting. This meeting not only allows current CBE faculty to interact and share successful strategies, challenges, and approaches, but encourages those who are not familiar with CBE to learn more. These telepresence meetings are designed to increase opportunity for communication among CBE faculty, newly interested traditional faculty, deans, administration, student support staff, and anyone who wishes to become a part of the CBE movement at Rasmussen College.