Skill Label Lingo


Skills Label has developed from a display for learning in tasks into a multi-faceted platform. It has advanced, separate interfaces for the two types of users: learning practitioners (administrators) and the learners (students and young professionals). Through development, some names have stuck for the different features and functionality:

Skill Label / Learning label is a patent pending standardized display for any learning task – activities, games, experiences, etc. There are similar types of displays for products and services, such as a nutritional label for food or a resume for professional experiences.

A standardized display in learning has many advantages: tracking learning across education and career stages; a basis of comparison between traditional and emerging learning resources; and portability across media (print, social, and internet).

Label Envelope is a responsive digital container including three items: an introductory icon, a label, and a credential earned upon completion.

Label Landing Page is a single page with the label, and all the features to effectively process it – share in social media, give feedback, navigate to the next one in a series, change file types, etc.

Label Wizard 2.0 is the interface a practitioner uses to create a label – takes no more than five minutes. It is a single page with screens to navigate through the elements. Recently released version 2.0, which is a stable UI with powerful features (like bringing in a dynamic set of standards for absolutely any skill).

Label Dashboard is a tiled, drag and drop interface to manage the labels. The tiles are represented as the previously mentioned Label Envelope. On the right is an icon menu with features to make use of the label. The Label Dashboard has a similar framework for those creating the labels and using the labels, but has different functionality.

My Labels (dashboard for practitioners) allows for users to easily manage labels. Users can develop a series of labels based on performance (pass, progress, or fail or ten percentiles) and later view them as a hierarchical structure.

My Collection (dashboard for students and professionals) allows for users to assign labels into collections. Users can also view labels based on skills, and access a Skills Emblem.

Skills Emblem is a real-time, learning badge for a particular skill. Skill Points (based on a proprietary algorithm) are calculated instantaneously for completed and in queue tasks.


Hierarchy View Within Skills Label Dashboard

Hierarchy View
Hierarchy View

A new feature of the Skills Label Dashboard is viewing a series of labels based on performance. Student / professionals navigate through labels based on their performance, which could be one of four possible options: 1, 2, 3, and 10 outcomes.

Currently, the interface allows for the learner to select any of the options; but later iterations, the learner might get only a link based from an assessment after using the resource.  (If I score a 75% after reading an interactive book, I only get a link to the 70th percentile, for example.)

Still, I think having links to all the options has its advantages. Students know ahead of time what their options are and how they have to perform to reach a desired outcome.

This Hierarchy View is an optional view within the dashboard. Students can opt to the traditional tiled, drag and drop functionality of the dashboard.

Start creating your own series of learning labels at Skills Label TM .

Learning Labels Show Methods Behind Skills (Like Critical Thinking)


A movement to track skills is a step forward, but the next movement is to track the underlying methods and applications behind skills. Teaching critical thinking – a pinnacle skill – is something we need to work on. My reasoning comes from two books published a few years ago: Our Underachieving Colleges by Derek Bok and Academically Adrift by a team of authors. Two quotes summarize their findings:

It is impressive to find faculty members agreeing almost unanimously that teaching students to think critically is the principal aim of undergraduate education. – Derek Bok

No statistically significant gain in critical thinking, complex reasoning, or writing skills for at least 45 percent of students. (Students who took CLA+ before college and after two years of college.) – Academically Adrift authors

But, this is not a persuasive article trying to convince you the need to scrutinize and put more time and resources into developing this skill. I think this is already agreed upon. Rather, this is an article about a solution to this problem, what is being done with Skills / Learning Label™ . This technology addresses the problem in three ways:

First, a practitioner assigns many skills (critical thinking) for any task – regardless of the discipline or subject, type of task, or education stage. So, for higher education, a practitioner creating a task in humanities (summarizing thoughts of a philosopher), economics (applying game theory in an actual situation), or marketing (ranking and choosing copy for a campaign), references critical thinking in the task. It appears on the learning label and is tracked as a leaner completes the task.

Second, a practitioner references standards behind skills (critical thinking). Through the Skills Label interface, it is possible to assign standards for each skill in a task. Assign the standards through the administrative interface, and they appear on the labels themselves.

Standards can be commonly accepted ones (like Common Core); standards can be dynamic ones (created and recognized by a group of professors / institutions). This video provides an initial introduction to the standards interface.

Third, a practitioner references underlying methods and application behind the skill. Perhaps a teacher / professor does not find a suitable set of standards, so assigns specific methods or applications behind the skill. For example, in this task, the learner uses reasoning, ranking, summarizing, deducing, etc.

All of this can be accomplished in an unobtrusive, non- time-consuming way. (It is built into a Label Wizard to quickly construct the labels.) Once the standards or methods are in place, they are easily accessible through the administrative interface.

Furthermore, this level of detail and functionality works for all skills in Skills Label.

Skills Label (Personalized Learning and PBL)

Academia is talking about personalized and deeper learning, something I have advocated with the Skills Based Approach methodology and application for its inception in 2013. The methodology is focused entirely on an individual. The application is meant to be handled by the student or young professional to manage their learning tasks.

Skills Label (Personalized Learning and PBL)
Skills Label (Personalized Learning and PBL)

Skills Label represents learning in any task, activity, or experience. To achieve project based learning, the labels are connected by outcomes after completing a task. Currently, there are three options: two, three, or ten outcomes (as shown in graphic). A creator of education resources, teacher, or professor chooses the number of outcomes and then assigns labels for each of them. This effectively allows a perpetual series of labels.

The user (a student or professional) simply clicks on the bar representing the outcome and is taken to the next label. And the next label also has its own set of outcomes. This effectively connects the labels together.

This is personal. The outcomes are determined on how the student performs in the learning experience, so next steps are tied to individual performance.

This promotes project based learning (PBL) and deeper learning. One implementation of PBL is a series of tasks with conditionals, precisely what it accomplished with this new functionality.

Significant data can be collected from a series of labels, and could be a source of future iterations and features. But, for now, a human (teacher, professor, etc.) controls what happens with each of the outcomes and creates their own series.

This is ideal for a teacher or professor creating and assigning tasks a course, or a company moving through an onboarding process. Start creating your own series of Skills Label.