Performance-based Learning

Performance-based education is a delivery format where the student demonstrates their ability to meet or exceed industry standards set by the program and/or University. This demonstration is carried out with a focus in three main strands of demonstration: knowledge, skills and ability. It is gaining considerable recognition from both students and employers.

When employers are interested in hiring a student they do not seek to know how many hours that student spent in a lecture hall. They want to know how their knowledge can be applied to their business and that students can perform the job they are hiring them to do. Performance-based education teaches competency, honors experience, and depends upon students to be independent and motivated learners. As an institution dedicated to serving the working adult, this is a flexible pathway that we are pleased to offer our students through our School of Management, School of Education, and School of Applied Leadership.

Students submit artifacts that demonstrate their learning towards competencies in each strand that leads to program outcomes and specific learning goals. While the majority of the learning occurs through distance learning, students may also meet synchronously, in-class and/or online for portions of their classes on a regular and established schedule. For each program, competencies are organized into learning blocks, with each block tied to quarter credits. Students work at their own pace with the guidance and instruction of a Faculty Facilitator or Mentor. They may complete the assessments found in the block, or suggest alternatives that demonstrate they have achieved the course outcomes according to the corresponding rubric. Students' artifacts are evaluated according to the rubric by independent Evaluators. Faculty Facilitators compile the results of the evaluations and submit the final grade.

Instructors serve as Facilitators or Mentors in these performance-based programs, and provide a high level of interaction with students as they guide the learning tailored to individual needs. Specifically, these Facilitators or Mentors:

  • Initiate conversations with students based on the students' timelines for completion
  • Conduct weekly (at minimum) individual check-ins with each student
  • Provide feedback on student work when requested
  • Recommend and collaborate with Course Manager regarding learning objects to enhance Blackboard shells
  • Communicate concerns about student progress on a regular basis to the Program Director, who will then contact all needed parties
  • Notify Assessor/Grader when submissions are available for scoring
  • Determine final grade for the course by compiling assessment scores
  • Initiate group conversations around content and course inquiries
  • Provide sample schedule for course completion
In addition to these Facilitators or Mentors, there is an Assessor or Grader who provides final grading on artifacts submitted for scoring with appropriate feedback, as needed, to further increase learner development and support scoring.

Outside of the Facilitators, Mentors, Assessors or Graders, student's advisors provide registration information on a quarterly basis and assist students with needs outside of course requirements, including deciding whether this modality is best for them.