Competency-Based Learning Strategy:

Host Defense of Learning

NOTE: This strategy is part of the self-paced Design Performance-Based Assessments

A defense of learning is a way for a student to share a portfolio or a specific product and reflect on how they achieved the intended learning outcomes. A committee of peers, teachers, family, and/or community members provide feedback and determine if the student met learning outcomes. This experience mimics real-life situations like work presentations and provides an authentic deadline and audience,  leading to higher-quality work.

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.

Present to a Panel of Experts

Students at Odyssey Stem Academy present to a panel of educators and experts in their Defense of Learning. Learners bring evidence of both formative and summative assessments on competencies and pair it with narrative reflection.

Public Defense of Progress

In their 8th grade year, learners at SEEQs deliver a public defense of their progress before a panel, making the case that they are ready for the next stage of their education.


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:

Enable authentic demonstrations of learning:
I provide learners with opportunities to create public products and share their learning with an authentic public audience.

Tackle Real World Problems: I codesign learning experiences in which learners solve authentic local and global issues while building content-based knowledge and skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem-solving.