Skills Syllabi, Skills Based Learning Expectations and Tasking

I remember getting a paper syllabus on the first day of class. It outlined learning expectations and policies, purpose of the course, and a schedule of what we would be doing in each class. (In my earlier years, I read it once and shuffled it away; in my later years, it became tattered and torn as I frequently referenced it to succeed.) My recent experience with syllabus are reading them before taking a MOOC on Coursera (which I assume is not much different than any other syllabus). Still, I find there can be room for improvement.

Skill Syllabi is a utility to create an interactive, skills based syllabus. I created this app to expand access to educational resources for learners (one more resource to be returned from a search), while expanding the usefulness of other skills apps I have already developed. If you create syllabus, I suggest giving this Syllabus Builder a try. It is free.

The interface is a single page where you are taken through eight steps to collect all relevant information. When you are finished, you get a public URL (to post on a website) and PDF download of the syllabus.

Many higher education institutions are adopting Competency Based Learning (“CBL”) programs; last year there were 50 programs and this year there are 500 programs in higher education (according to a TechCrunch article). CBL is enticing because of its efficiency. Students learn at their own pace and way and once they reach desired competencies they move on. When I say ‘way’, I mean students can learn through resources not only chosen by the professor, but also supplemental ones available to them (other books, games, etc.). So, these programs are not based on the de-facto credit hour model.

Skill Syllabi are ideal for these types of programs. It has sections breaking down learning expectations and tasking based on skills, skill expertise, and objectives of the methods and application behind skills. Students know precisely what skills the professors are targeting and their approach in doing so.

Skill Syllabi is a useful utility for all types of courses: classroom, online, and blended. To construct the framework, I reviewed a syllabus template from Stanford Commons to get the sections right.

Skill Syllabi works with Skills Label and Skills-Based Approach. It also fits with the overall philosophy of Skills Culture.

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