Competency Assessment in Distributed Education (CADE) Seminar

CADE Course Overview

This document summarizes various components of the operational Blackboard version of an online graduate course in Organizational Leadership, one of twelve courses in Gonzaga University's new online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. These courses are being designed and produced through JesuitNET, using the CADE methodology. All of the bold-face links and audio player images are active and demonstrate how video, audio and Flash modules are utilized to support instruction in the course. As you read through the four "Discuss" sections, you'll see how the asynchronous student-faculty discussions integrate the media, readings and assignments into a substantive academic experience. Gonzaga's online courses run for eight weeks, with each of the four course modules requiring two weeks of study.

From the beginning, faculty participants in the CADE Seminar have acknowledged CADE's positive impact on their overall perspectives about teaching and learning. Below are some sample comments:

  • "Articulating competencies helped me identify sources of tension in my teaching. I've been trying to make my courses more centered on student learning for several years and have made superficial changes, rather than deep or structural changes in my teaching style. If I begin course planning by spelling out the competencies I want students to master, I am hoping I can put to rest the need to cover as much content as I can in a semester. I think that analyzing evidence of mastery according to different points on the expert-novice continuum will help me evaluate student work more confidently. If I distribute the criteria for different degrees of mastery, students can assess their work as they are preparing it and can ask for help to improve mastery early on instead of finding out after their work is finished and graded."
  • "The backward design process is a 'keeper.' It is practical and useful and satisfies many requirements for instruction. It's interesting, and it has much utility with 'adult' and non-traditional students because it does emphasize achievement of competencies."
  • "The information presented in this workshop can be and is very useful for planning and designing any course, whether online or [face to face]. I have a more thoughtful approach to developing any course after experiencing these modules."
  • "I learned from all [CADE methodologies], and they built on each other. I am not sure that this workshop is just for online strategies. I think it was an excellent review of teaching learning strategies in general and how to adapt these to any environment to meet the students needs and the objectives of the course taught."
  • "There is no question my exposure to a disciplined and structured approach to course design will be beneficial in how I prepare for my face-to-face classes and for my online course."

For more information on the CADE Seminar, please contact Dr. Kathleen Snyder: (805) 895-4798,