A recent Employment Confidence Survey by Glassdoor revealed the need to shift to skill-based trainings. More than 70% of those surveyed valued special training for specific skills more valuable than a degree. The perceived de-valuing of the traditional degrees has led to several initiatives from competency based education (CBE) pathways to skills training programs beginning as early as high school.

What makes competency based education better?

Under a competency-based education system, learners advance through modules based on demonstration of proficiency of competencies. Learning activities are closely connected with acquisition of necessary skills which could be irrespective of the time you spend in training or in a classroom. Even though the basic tenant lies in providing skills that help you achieve employability faster, the following 5 points make competency based training better :

Learning is focused on achieving Mastering Skills

Learners progress modules as they master each module, thereby acquiring skills along the way. Time spent in learning is replaced with proficiency achieved in the module which means promising learners or employees can advance faster. This is immensely beneficial not just for learners but even employers for reasons that are obvious – More time saved is more productivity earned.

Learning progress is guided through Learning Pathways

Effective models of skill development rely on expert-designed learning pathways with measurable learning objectives . Self-learning requires individuals to research on their own and it takes time to stumble upon the best way to advance forward. But if experts compile the best resources that can cut the time for exploration and accelerate learning, learning becomes truly effective, enjoyable and rapid.

Evaluation, like learning, is continuous

In a true learning environment, evaluation and learning is intertwined and not discrete. The beauty of acquiring skills on the job is that the environment gives you the opportunity to learn and evaluate yourself. A learning environment should be nothing short and competency based education relies on continuous evaluation and learning through micro assessments and short modules or even simulations.

Learning should be differentiated, adaptive and relevant

A personal trainer, mentor or a coach recognizes individuals strengths , weaknesses, interests, personality and so much more to craft the best training for that individual. Technology can and should ensure that the fire-hose approach to training is replaced with differentiated training for each and every learner, not just for one training but for a life-time. The model and the approach should become your mentor for life-long learning

Smart employers are actively seeking skills, instead of degrees. It is therefore not surprising that the U.S. Department of Education will allow at least 40 colleges to experiment with competency-based education and prior learning assessment, granting them a waiver from certain rules that govern federal financial aid. It is certain that competency based education is set to go mainstream with technology coming to the rescue once again. 

 

 

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