An Inside Look at How APUS is Bringing Momentum™ to Competency-based Education

By Cali Morrison, Director, Alternative Learning
Graduate Studies, Research & Innovation

As we have been training APUS faculty who will serve as mentors and subject matter experts in the new APUS Momentum competency-based education program, we have used the analogy of putting our students in the driver’s seat of their educational journey. And right there with them in the passenger seat is the faculty mentor, acting as navigator based on the student’s personalized learning map. Waiting in the ‘pit,’ by extension, is the “crew” of subject matter experts that will provide the student with all they need in order to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to master the discipline competencies.

This crew provides the necessary content expertise to most effectively evaluate the students’ learning and, in turn, activate the program’s MyMomentum™ adaptive learning platform, featuring personalized content powered by our partner, Realizeit Learning. Additional members of the crew are the staff who provide robust student, career and alumni services offered to all APUS students and graduates. While not a race, per se, Momentum allows students to adjust their learning time to fit their life and their learning journey.

Program competencies were developed by our faculty, utilizing industry standards so our students get timely, relevant education that help them apply their learning in their actual workplace. APUS faculty and the learning design team partnered to create diagnostic pre-assessments that work in concert with guidance and feedback from our subject matter experts to power the adaptive learning engine which personalizes the content for each competency. These academics and professionals crafted authentic assessments for each competency, enabling students to apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations.

For instance, a student may be presented a scenario such as the recent scrutiny of police officers’ actions in determining when to utilize force. They may be asked to craft a presentation to educate the general public, utilizing academic sources, to explain the factors that contribute to an officer’s decision to utilize force. In other words, they are building skills and demonstrating competency by doing a learning activity that resembles something they may be asked to do in a future career and which serves as an artifact that the individual can use to demonstrate their knowledge to a prospective employer. 

I joined the APUS team just six months ago to help develop and launch Momentum and I am truly proud of what it offers our students. It’s a further testament to our ongoing commitment to provide flexible, affordable education for adult learners who can’t afford to put their lives on hold in order to get an education. In short, it’s precisely why I’m here — because it allows me to pursue my passion of creating life-long learning opportunities for all learners.

You can learn more about how the Momentum program works, who an ideal Momentum student is and what programs are being offered by visiting the Momentum page.

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