Competency-Based Learning Strategy:

Move On When Ready

NOTE: This strategy is part of the self-paced Use Assessment as a Tool for Learning Course

Learners are empowered to progress through the learning experience based on their demonstration of the desired skills and knowledge. This can be as small and contained as learners working through the writing process at their own best pace based on formative checks, or as comprehensive as not moving on to the next unit until mastery of the prior learning objectives is demonstrated. For learners to move on when ready, a prerequisite is clear learning objectives and assessments to measure understanding of the material. Once a learner has demonstrated proficiency in a competency, they can move on to the next one. This allows learners to progress at their own pace and encourages them to take ownership of their learning.

Bright Spots

Gain inspiration from authentic examples of this strategy shared by teachers who have used them with their learners.

Creating your own Bright Spots? Let’s get them out into the world! Share yours here.

Self-Paced Learning Processes

A middle school science teacher in Rochester, New Hampshire uses whiteboards to highlight the required steps in the learning process of their astronomy unit. Students progress through the sequence of learning experiences at their own pace provided they demonstrate proficiency on the formative checks. If needed, students return to previous whiteboards to re-explore before retrying the formative check.

Visualize Minimum Pace

An upper elementary school teacher in New Hampshire uses an interactive bulletin board to show students learning activities in their current unit. Students can work at their own pace, provided they stay ahead of the leprechaun. The leprechaun represents the minimum pace. If a student falls behind the leprechaun, this triggers a 1-1 conference with the teacher to create a plan to get back on track.

Enrichment and Review

A high school teacher in Fulton County Schools in GA uses an interactive bulletin board to allow students to move on to enrichment or review activities upon mastery of the in-class learning objectives.

Formative Checks to Set Pace

Transitional Kindergarteners at Design39 students work through writing and reading skills at different paces based on their performance on intermittent formative checks.


Inspired? Use the resources below to bring this learner-centered strategy to your learning community.

Related Learner-Centered Content

If you found this helpful, try this related strategy:

Learn More in this Learner-Centered Course:

Do you already do this, earn a micro-credential:

Associated Learner-Centered Competencies:

Modify Path or Pace:
I use quantitative and qualitative evidence to understand individual strengths and opportunities to co-design personalized learning paths with learners

Provide Voice and Choice:
I design learning experiences that offer flexibility in process, product and/or pace.