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Thom Lowther

Les, you are absolutely right, the concept of the ILU is not new. Competency based learning has been advocated for years. Unfortunately the mid 50's and 60's where at the apex of the industrial age and measurement by the hour was the king. Even now, most laws related to measuring continuing education are based upon time (ex: the CEU). Earlier advocates and efforts to move toward competency as opposed to time were just ahead of their time.

Your comment “When asked why not allow an 80% success he responded, "What don't you want them to know? Do you want your doctor to have only 80% of the skills needed to save your life?" is a good one and hard to it would be hard to disagree. Maybe we should seek perfection. Good fuel for debate!

Les Vierra

The LU and ILU are wonderful applications. (This is not criticism.) Competency based learning is not new, however. My first awareness of the formal application was in the early 1960's from a chap named Don Stewart of California in what he labeled Systems Learning. That approach required full mastery of a set of knowledge, skills, or what ever before an individual could advance to the next learning level. (When asked why not allow an 80% success he responded, "What don't you want them to know? Do you want your doctor to have only 80% of the skills needed to save your life?") It's tough to do that in accredited institutions where tution and fees limit the time an individual has to master a body of knowledge or skills--and parents and alumni do want to see "progress". A question is how have you avoided legal problems with copyrighting Learning Units? The term was used extensively in the 1950's. As stated, this is not criticism--keep up the good work.

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