CBE is Not Self-Paced [...]

My second kvetch with ‘self-paced’ is that it is operationally inaccurate.  For students enrolled in CBE courses and programs that are credit bearing and eligible for financial aid — CBE is NOT a ‘self-paced’ option or experience.

While almost every CBE model is designed to give the student significant latitude and agency over their pace — the control is not unilaterally at the discretion of the learner.  It is a negotiated flexibility, with milestones, deadlines and absolute limits, arbitrated between course designers, faculty, learners — and regulators — to ensure there is ‘satisfactory academic progress’ to maintain financial aid eligibility.

In short, the variability of pace in CBE is not without boundaries.  And the limits are not, ultimately, set by the learners themselves.  Even without the regulatory requirement to ensure the student’s pace is sufficiently productive — experience tells us, that when learners are left to their own initiative to engage with and progress through a course of study, most tend to lapse, languish and leave.  Most recently the completion rates of MOOCs have provided a stark demonstration of this syndrome. (Source)

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