About Course Competencies

About Course Competencies

Competencies are high-level statements that describe the goals of a course or program. They communicate:

  • what the learner should know,
  • the skills the learner should gain, or
  • the attitudes the learner should have after taking an online course or completing a program.

Competencies reflect the long-term goals of a course or a program and provide the building blocks for your course outline. They are a foundational tool for planning and developing courses in backward course design. In backward course design, you use competencies to design learning outcomes, assignments, activities, projects, and assessments. They help ensure that course content aligns with long-term program goals and objectives.


The University of Texas School of Public Health. (2012, January). competencies-and-learning-objectives.pdf.


Author: Katherine Baeckeroot

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