Proficiency: The Standard To Which We Teach

Proficiency: The Standard To Which We Teach

If you had to define another person’s skill aptitude on a scale from 1-5, 5 being highest, how difficult would it be?  Pretty easy, right?  But what do those numbers mean?  For instance, what does “2” mean in words?

Let me provide a context: let’s assume that you’re a web developer teacher and it’s the end of the day Friday.  Your boss calls you in for a meeting.  He’s curious to know how the class is progressing, especially at the individual level.  How do you answer this question succinctly and tangibly?  Really think about that.  How do you describe the performance and proficiency of anything or anyone?  You’re probably thinking there has to be a rubric, a grading scale, or some type of preset standard used as a frame of reference, right?

In the pursuit of objectivity, we all judge on some type of contextual absolute;  high school teachers use rubrics and grading scales (an “A” means “excellent”, B means “above average”, and so on), an employer might use job descriptions or agreed-upon expectations, and so on.

Grade Inflation
What our education system has come to.

And we’re no different in one sense – we evaluate students’ coding proficiency throughout our our 12 week program using a very concise and detailed standards that we’ve developed.  The difference is that each of our five levels is crystal clearly differentiated from one to the next.  This allows us to precisely assess our incoming students’ coding capabilities (if they have some previous experience), and make necessary adjustments to our teaching approaches as necessary.

It also allows us to correctly track students’ progress as we  individually evaluate students several times throughout the program.  By applying this process, we know when to “graduate” a student from one level to the next, whereby the required knowledge and autonomy is higher and more challenging – yet necessary to become legitimate in the web development industry.

Our Objective

Our main objective is to take novices and advanced beginners and mold them into competent and proficient web developers by the time they graduate our 12 week coding bootcamp.

Here is our assessment rubric below (click to enlarge):

dreyfus table

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