Implementing Competencies Using Moodle Platform

Concurrent Session 5

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

We will present how we implemented competency-based courses using Moodle competency tool in two graduate programs: Training and Development and Master of Arts in Teaching within the College of Education at the NC State University. We will discuss the overall workflow, competency framework, challenges and outcomes of these courses.


Jakia Salam is an Instructional Designer at DELTA where she works as a project lead and instructional designer for DELTA Grant projects. She works closely with faculty, new media team and project coordinator team to design, develop, and evaluate on-line, hybrid and face-to-face courses. Jakia is a technology enthusiast and always looking for ways using innovative technologies to develop pedagogically sound courses and address instructional challenges. Jakia provides leadership in the area of instructional design, including the creation of engaging, effective and pedagogically sound instructional materials and activities, the development of assessment and evaluation techniques and process, and incorporate learning technologies based on sound pedagogy and effectiveness. Prior to joining DELTA, Jakia worked in various roles including as a Senior Instructional Designer at UNC Chapel Hill, an Instructional Technology Consultant at UNC Greensboro, a full-time faculty at Guilford Technical Community College, a Chemical Engineer and Application Developer. Jakia holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and completed her Master of Science in Computer Science from UNC Greensboro in 2002. She also obtained a Graduate Certificate in e-learning from the College of Education at NC State in 2013.
Jessica is a Lead Instructional Designer working with Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) and the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences (FBNS). She provides instructional design and project management knowledge in order to provide solutions to instructional challenges. She works with faculty members and the new media team at DELTA to design, develop and evaluate innovative online and face-to-face courses. Before joining DELTA, Jessica taught at a private college for several years before working for a non-profit organization and as a government contractor. In her prior roles, she developed a multitude of courses, taught adults in a variety of business-related topics such as professional development and designed training programs. Jessica holds an Ed.S. in Instructional Design and Technology and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.

Extended Abstract


Competency-based education (CBE) is making its way to higher education, especially for skill-based professional degrees. In competency-based education (CBE) education, student learning focuses on mastering a skill or competencies based on their learning objectives. This model or approach can lead to better student outcomes and success and helps to prepare them as the next generation of a competent workforce.

In this presentation, we intend to present how we implemented competency-based courses using the Moodle competency tool in two programs:  Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Training and Development and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) within the College of Education at NC State University. We will discuss the overall workflow of these projects, competency framework and technical details about Moodle competency tool. We will address the challenges we encountered using Moodle competency tool and how we handled these challenges. We will also discuss the outcome of these projects and future directions for research and additional implementation.

Project Description

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Training and Development

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Training and Development is based on a reflective practice approach offering practitioners opportunities to integrate their professional experiences with human resource development knowledge and practice skills. Completing this master’s program gives students the professional knowledge and skills required for entry or advancement in instructional design, and instructional, administrative, or evaluation positions that involve performance-based training.

The goal of this project was to create new competency-linked courses for this program based on core industry competencies. After a survey of industry professionals was completed, it was determined that students in the master’s program were missing a core competency of project management.  From this research, intent to build a competency-linked course was born. This first course created in the 2017-2018 year was based on project management with relation to instructional design and training. The course, called Operation and Organization of Training & Development Programs (most likely to be renamed Managing Learning Programs in Training and Development in the near future), resulted in much closer alignment with the professional needs and standards in the field. The initial course design integrated a competency directly related to managing projects and was the first step in a larger goal of aligning the entire online Training and Development program with the remaining competencies. This project seeks to align the program with college and departmental mission statements, assist in improving student labor market outcomes, and create community partnerships.

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Competency-based Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program within the College of Education at the NC State University is an accelerated teacher licensure program that leads its graduates to both an initial teaching license and a Master’s degree in as little as a year and a half (if students participate full time). The MAT program is designed to support teachers’ need to integrate practice with theory as well as to experience today’s culturally diverse and technology-enhanced classrooms. The MAT provides an outstanding teacher preparation program at a reasonable cost. The MAT program at North Carolina State University follows a hybrid model, including classes that are online, face-to-face, and off-campus here in Raleigh.

We worked with the faculty in the MAT Program at NC State and incorporated competency-based education into their courses. The goal is to increase the number of skilled and competent teachers to address the shortage in North Carolina.  We worked with the program coordinator and linked competencies in the four core courses every MAT student takes. We collaborated with the faculty to implement the Moodle Competency feature, aligning the coursework to the desired competencies, and piloting the use of the competency feature in 2019 with courses in the fall, spring, and summer.

Learning Outcomes of the Presentation


At the end of this session, the audience will be able to:

  • Learn how to design a competency-based course from conception to completion in Moodle and the overall workflow
  • Recognize the instructional and technical challenges of designing a competency-based course
  • Learn how Moodle competency tool works and was used to implement competency-based (linked) courses at NC State
  • Apply strategies and tools for designing competency-based courses to their own courses or training modules
  • Recognize the impact of competencies on student success

Audience engagement


At the beginning of the session, the audience identifies a course context for implementing competency-based education and come up with some professional degrees that might benefit from it. We will facilitate group discussions on competency-based education and its impact on student success at different points of our presentation. The audience will share their ideas as a group. We also intend to use online polling tool to get audience feedback and their familiarity with the competency-based education.