Setting the PACE with Competency-Based Education: The Interplay of Technology and the Design of New Pathways

Concurrent Session 6

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

We will explore how technology can effectively inform, expand, and provide structure for the design and development of courses and assessments. Lipscomb University will share the process of designing a program in a new learning platform, Sagence Learning. What are the key elements to be considered in designing new pathways?



Dr. Hope Nordstrom, known as @DrHope4Tech, is the Director of Center for Teaching & Learning and Associate Professor of Education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. As director, she provides administrative oversight and is directly involved in all Center programming in order to bolster faculty teaching and improve student success. Additionally, she assists faculty members in implementing best practices for online teaching and learning. Dr. Nordstrom most recently worked in the College of Professional Studies at Lipscomb University as the Director of Curriculum & Instruction and previously was the lead faculty for the Technology Integration master’s program in the College of Education. Dr. Nordstrom came to Lipscomb with 10 years of experience as a middle school language arts teacher. She has also earned an Advanced Online Teaching Certificate from the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). Dr. Nordstrom has presented at the local, state, and national level on effective technology integration strategies, online learning, visual literacy, and personalized learning. When she isn’t being a digital diva, she is trying to plan her next trip to Disney!

Extended Abstract

This session offers key elements that participants may take away when considering developing their own competency-based program by focusing on the interplay of technology and the design of new pathways. The session will explore the following questions:

  • How can structure and organization guide the direction of competency-based program development?
  • How does the design of technology inform (and provide consistency to) the overall student pathway?
  • What are ways we can create engaging, relevant, and well-aligned learning experiences across different subject areas?
  • What strategies can be implemented for intentional and substantive feedback that ensure student success of competencies?
  • What are ways we can connect real-world experiences to student learning to ensure professional success?


We will discuss how initial “limitations” or parameters in technology can be transformed into opportunities to think creatively about what is essential, encourage intentionality in design of the learner experience, and enforce best practices in content and assessment methodology.


By attending the session, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • See concrete examples of ways to utilize technology to inform and expand upon the design and development of competency experiences
  • Discuss how technology can reinforce and force intentional design
  • Explore different approaches for ensuring competency alignment, encouraging instructor-student engagement and student-student interaction, and designing quality assessments and rubrics


Participants will be actively engaged in this session by:

  • Sharing their own experiences and challenges with technology or with existing methodologies or practices that need to be reinvented
  • Sharing ideas on ways to address limitations and how technology can support
  • Coming up with an action plan for how they will use these shared strategies at their own institution
  • Brainstorming around concrete examples for creating a learner roadmap (handouts provided)