What are Competencies, Skills, and Levels?

Learn about the Skills section of our Co-Curricular Opportunities Feature!


In Involve, we’ve made it easy to incorporate learning outcome frameworks you might already be using, like CAS, LEAP, DQP, or one that’s unique to your institution. To begin transferring these frameworks into Involve, start by figuring out what the overall competencies are that you want students to work towards. Then, decide what skills they require to earn those competencies. Once you have established your Competencies and Skills, you can use Levels to add depth. In the image below, you can see how there is a general Competency (Cognitive Complexity) that is made up of specific Skills.


Within each Skill are Levels highlighting one’s proficiency of that Skill. Institutions are welcome to determine their own Levels of proficiency, although we typically advise and see institutions using Bloom's Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy uses a strategic vernacular to articulate the depth of the specific skills being developed, and are commonly used, which make it easier for students to communicate their accomplishments.




A Competency is a more generalized ability or knowledge base that a student can earn through developing individual Skills. Competencies are usually big picture ideas, values, or professional assets that can be developed during a students’ tenure in college.


For example, you may decide that it is important for your students to develop Interpersonal Competence while at your institution. You can clearly outline the meaning of Interpersonal Competence and explain what is needed to achieve it by creating a Competency on Involve.


In order to develop Interpersonal Competence, students will need to gain certain Skills. This is where the Skills feature comes in!




Individual Skills are what students must earn to master the Competency. Skills are usually much more specific than the Competency and often come with more detailed outlines of how to earn them.


For example, under Interpersonal Competence, there are 4 skills that must be developed to earn the Competency. The first three may be granted or requested through the Apply for Opportunity form, while the last one, Effective Leadership, has rules attached via a pathway. If all the requirements in the Pathway are completed, then the Skill will automatically be granted to that person. Once all 4 Skills are earned, then the student will earn the overall Competency!


It may be helpful to visualize Competencies, Skills, and the ways to earn them as a flow chart.




Levels allow you to further encourage student development by breaking up the Skills into different tiers of mastery. This is where we recommend taking a peek at Bloom’s Taxonomy, or another similar learning framework! Like the rest of our platform, Levels can be customized to your campus’ needs. You can have as few or as many as you’d like. Here is an example of a progression of Levels. We start at Level 1, which is Knowledge, and end with Level 6, which is Evaluation.




Using Levels helps both students and administrators understand and track a student’s development of Skills and Competencies, and makes it easy for students to explain their Co-Curricular accomplishments.


Earning Skills and Competencies


Like all Co-Curricular Opportunities, there are many different ways to earn Skills and Competencies. These opportunities may be manually granted to a person by a campus administrator with proper access, they can be granted through the apply for opportunity form, or they may be earned through rules outlined in a Pathway. We recommend using the Pathway feature as much as possible to automate the management of these opportunities!


Once you have created your Competencies, Skills, and Levels, you can automate the process of earning them through Pathways! Pathways make it easier for students to not only earn these opportunities, but to also keep track of their progress. Using Pathways, you can clearly outline the conditions that students must meet to earn a Skill.


As an example, let’s look at the Leadership Development Skill below. Here we can see that there are four requirements that must be met to earn the first Level of this Skill. Those requirements are the Conditions. Once all four Conditions are met, then this Skill will be granted to the student automatically.


Once you publish your Pathway, the Conditions will become actionable. This means that our system will create buttons that link the Conditions to the forms, events, or other opportunities that will fulfill that requirement. This encourages student engagement by simplifying the process by which students find the opportunities that are already available for them to do immediately to meet those requirements.


This is one of the most unique aspects of our platform because not only do we allow you to create and manage these opportunities, but we enable you to connect them in order to create a more well-rounded and engaging student experience.


Students and administrators can easily keep track of the skills and competencies they have earned by checking their SmartTranscript!

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