A flexible competency-based approach to online education
Assessments, Not Classes.
WGU’s academic approach is competency-based and dedicated to producing highly competent graduates. This means that instead of basing progress on credit hours and seat-time in the classroom, you earn your degree by demonstrating your skills and knowledge (competence) in specific subject areas.
WGU’s competency-based academic approach utilizes a variety of assessments to measure your skills and knowledge (or competence) in your chosen field. These assessments require you to demonstrate that you understand concepts and can perform them in real-life situations. Assessments can take many forms, including objective exams, research papers, assignments, projects, and essays.
The bottom line: You’ll learn what you need to succeed. Your diploma will mean you’ve mastered the essential skills and knowledge the workplace demands.
Courses of Study
Your degree program at WGU is comprised of a number of Courses of Study (COS). Each Course of Study contains all of the necessary components for competency development in each subject area, including:
- Learning Resources
- Course Instructors
- Community Support
- a Plan of Study
These combine to help you know where to turn if questions arise, and to help you establish a manageable pace for learning as you prepare for the final assessment.
As a WGU Washington student, you will be required to demonstrate your mastery of competencies in a variety of ways. An assessment may be a traditional test, a project, an essay, or another practical demonstration of a required skill. Assessments can take many forms. Here are some examples from various programs:
- Assignments involving problem solving. (e.g., Science or Information Technology)
- Computerized exams consisting of 50 multiple-choice, matching, and other question types. (e.g., Mathematics)
- Projects requiring the student to design a lesson plan. (e.g., Teaching)
- Reflection essays about case studies. (e.g., MBA)
- Research papers on particular topics within the student’s field.
Your assessments align to demonstrate specific competencies in your chosen field.
How Assessments are Determined
Assessments at WGU are developed using a rigorous process that conforms to accreditation requirements and professional testing standards. WGU relies upon an Assessment Program Council, comprising leading test experts. This process yields high-quality exams, reliable scores, and supports valid conclusions about each student’s level of competence.
Remote, Proctored Assessments
You now have the option to complete many of your objective assessments (exams) in the comfort of your own home through remote proctoring using a webcam.
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