I think we are finally starting to see a movement towards learning skills precisely and attempting to reach desired learning outcomes in education, higher education, and career learning. This is something I had hoped for and predicted when I came out with Skills-Based Approach a few years ago. Here is the evidence:
- In education, Common Core is about reaching desired competencies in basic skills.
- In higher education, micro-credentialism (a fast track for learning skills), competency based learning (meet a desired skill level, then move on – no seat time requirements), and simply requiring professors to include skills on a traditional syllabus.
- With careers, lifelong, personalized, and adaptive learning plans are best suited with skills.
Skills-Based Approach℠ is a methodology and platform centered on the development of an evolving skill set over a lifetime. I developed a suite of apps, a learning scaffold for acquiring skills.
At the most discrete level, Skills Label℠, a user can interface with a display of learning expectations for a given task – any resource or experience where something is learned. A resource might be an online game, book, seminar, or course; an experience might be a project or activity.
In the middle (the next level), Skill Syllabi℠, a user interfaces with learning at a course level. This online syllabus is interactive and includes a section for: learning skills and their underlying methods, tasking with functionality to include a series of skills labels, and scheduling for testing and assessments.
Some professors might be chagrined about getting to a level of detail as skills and their competencies, but over time it becomes a standard. Furthermore, I think we need to concentrate at least one level deeper with skills and understand how we are teaching and learning the underlying methods of a skill. This functionality, applying methods and applications, is already being built into the framework of the apps I have developed.
Finally, at the highest level, users can create Skills-Based Approach℠ learning plans (use the technical term instances in the implementation) to capture all learning over a designated period of time. So, for a student, this could include a collection of tasks from skill syllabi and/or skills labels.
Altogether, the suite of apps provide a scaffolding for learning skill at all levels.