Competency Based Learning for Higher Job Performance

Competency Based Learning
Competency Based Learning for Higher Job Performance

Higher Job Performance and Learning Personalization through Competency Based Learning. Learn the important tricks and tips on Competency Based Personal Learning and Training.

Competency Based eLearning for Higher Job Performance

The growing rise of digital learning content and e-learning courses means that there are now a myriad of opportunities for students to gain a meaningful education through the internet. However, directing learners towards the right content and course structure is just as important as providing ample content for learning. Businesses and organizations can choose from different course structures for their employees. One method that has proven to be successful is competency based learning.

While competency based learning has been around for many years, it has recently risen to popularity due to its flexibility, affordability and effectiveness within modern Learning Management Systems. Businesses are able to design learning programs for prospective and current employees that help develop the competencies necessary to excel at their intended jobs.

Rather than measuring the hours a student spends on e-learning courses, webinars or other assignments, competency based learning focuses on what skills a student is mastering. This allows students to work at a suitable pace, while concentrating on the competencies that are most relevant to their chosen line of work.

Studies have shown that students who participate in competency based learning courses will gain a better understanding of the subject material, finish the requisite course work quicker, and be better prepared for entering the work environment. While traditional education is limited by standardized courses, assignments, examinations and course lengths, the flexibility of CBL allows learners to thrive.

Companies often have to face the tough prospect of designing meaningful learning courses for their employees. While each type of organization has their own agenda, required skill set and time frame, they all have the same goal: to provide employees with a learning program that improves their competency in the workplace.

Designing these training programs is further complicated by tight budgets and the varying skill set/learning speed of employees. Companies that are serious about developing their employees’ skills can establish competency based learning plans that will optimize the time, cost and effectiveness of training. Not only will competency based learning programs cost less to enact, but they will also provide better and quicker results.

In fields where job performance is directly correlated to skill and knowledge development, competency based learning is the best way to measure an employee’s development. Employees who enroll in competency based e-learning programs will gain an understanding of the skills required to succeed at their job. They will also be able to assess the gap between their current skills and the required level of knowledge for short and long term success in the workplace.

The first step towards building a competency based learning plan is to establish a competency model for an organization. This allows companies to set the expectations for the relevant job role, along with a defined strategy for improving skills and knowledge. This competency model can be perceived as an agreement between the organization and employee for job performance and corresponding learning expectations.

After a model is established, a company can assess their employees periodically on their progress with the competency based e-learning plan. These assessments are usually a combination of self-ratings, manager/supervisor/mentor ratings, peer evaluations and objective assessment results. In some situations, an employee may direct their own competency and skill improvement. However, most cases will involve the company setting parameters for how frequently job-related competencies are tested.

Each organization will have their own specific method for evaluating base employee skills. A common method is to conduct assessments when an employee joins. This helps in determining their current job-related skill set and the structure of their competency based e-learning plan. Here is an example of the hierarchical order in a competency model:

1.    Job Role – A comprehensive overview of the job, which includes tasks, performance conditions and necessary skills.
2.    Competencies – A list of skills and knowledge necessary for succeeding at this job.
3.    Underlying Skills – Secondary skills that are required for effective job performance. Depending on the job/field of work, these skills may have proficiency levels attached to them.
4.    Learning Resources – Each required skill will have one or more learning resources associated with it. These resources are made available through e-learning courses, webinars, classroom training, videos, audio-books, documents, and/or third party websites.

Competency based learning provides the perfect blend of personalized learning, faster course and learning program completion times, better knowledge retention, and cost effectiveness. Modern Learning Management Systems’ competency module makes it easier for organizations to make the transition towards this learning method.

Click here to learn more about implementing the competency based learning.

Google Glass for eLearning and Mobile Learning

These Days Google Glass as Become an Important Device in eLearning and Mobile Learning Platforms. Where Users Experience the Most Advanced way of Online Learning.

Google Glass for eLearning
Google Glass for eLearning and Mobile Learning

Google Glass is a “wearable” computer device with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD).

Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format. Google Glass can connect with your Smartphone via Bluetooth connection and leverage information and apps on your Smartphone.

What can Google Glass do?

Google Glass provides Google’s cloud features like maps, Gmail, calendar, Google+ and Google Places. Google Glass offers language voice command support, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and allows a user to take photos and videos.

Google Glass responds to voice commands, leaving a user’s hands free. It follows the wearer’s gaze, enabling a learner to concentrate on the task. Google Glass can share and search for content, detect objects in front, and look up directions or maps etc. With a wide range of useful features, Google Glass has the potential to change the way we learn and train knowledge workers or students in academic settings.

Google Glass in Learning

Wearable technology like Google Glass takes mobile technology to a whole new level and online learning can leverage this technology to improve instruction, learning and application of learning.

Google glass can be used for:

  • Managing class and study schedules, reminders and alerts
  • Pushing certain key concepts or providing flash card functionality to aid in the learning process
  • Using voice commands, learners can look up information, prior learning, knowledge-base and so on from any location – in the class, outside the class, museum, field trip, etc.
  • Video conferencing and virtual coaching
  • Audio/Video capturing and taking notes on the fly
  • Presenting lectures/content

A more unique learning application of Google Glass is Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality (AR) is a live view of a real-world environment captured through in-built camera. AR enhances the live view by simultaneously presenting computer-generated input like text, sound, video, graphics, etc. on the screen. With AR technology, information about the surrounding world becomes interactive and digitally changeable and it can help the user learn, explore and interact with information about the real-world environment.

 In the Classroom

Google Glass can help a learners stay connected to the learning environment totally hands free. Learners can refer to relevant learning material on the go. A learner can also use Google Glass to record classroom training sessions in real-time. Interactions with fellow learners can be recorded while on field trips and while out of the classroom in general. Google Glass can help in creating engaging projects and presentations. Google Translator can present text-based translation in real-time.

In K-12 or higher education, Google Glass can help compare live feeds with an assignment or research paper.  Small sized videos can enhance the learning experience dramatically for a learner who may otherwise find the subject drab or uninteresting.

AR games in the classroom can add a new dimension to learning with interactivity. Learners can explore a human body and isolate various body systems. It is possible to add video profiles, sport highlights, skits and concert footage with this technology. In fact, AR has endless possibilities, allowing learners to unleash their creativity and construct their own world.

For an Instructor

For a presenter or instructor, Google Glass can be used for presenting webinars and video-based tutorials.  These can be streamed directly onto a learner’s Glass to be accessed on the go. Teachers have a chance to see the classroom through learners’ eyes with this gadget. A screen with an Internet connection is handy while teaching in the classroom or outdoors.

Case Studies

Google Glass was used in education by creating a well-known projects such as STEMbite (http://www.youtube.com/STEMbite/). A YouTube channel with a series of bite-size videos demonstrated the math and science of daily life. This has been a totally new teaching and learning experience for learners. (Buchem & Pérez-Sanagustín, 2013).

Google Glass has proved to be a useful educational tool for medical apprentices. Vallurupalli et al used Google Glass (Glauser, 2013) for various scenarios in cardiovascular practice and a mock trainee used Google glass to enact each scenario. Live video stream from Google Glass was transmitted to smartphones of other learners in the group. It enhanced education and patient outcomes in the cardiology fellowship program and also showed a patient’s perspective to the learner.

Another renowned mission is Margaret Powers’ “365 Days of Glass Project” (http://365daysofglass.com/). Margaret documents how she and the learners are using Glass in the school. Recently, kindergarten learners were recorded as they made flowers out of cups, cardboard, and other materials. The first-person perspective on her website is a great learning for other teachers who can replicate the lesson in their own classroom. (http://blog.kathyschrock.net/2014/02/google-glass-in-class.html)

Advantages and Limitations

Google Glass shows great promise in many spheres of learning and training and it has generated great excitement for learners and instructors. Virtual field trips, real time broadcasting, videos and many other smart options make it a boon for learners and teachers. However, there are privacy issues associated with using it in classrooms. The distraction factor with Google Glass is another drawback. Memorization will no longer be important as information will be readily available for reference at all times.

Summary

Wearable computers, mobile apps, sensor-enabled devices, and wireless connectivity are transforming the way people work and learn. Already in the hands of developers like Instancy, Google Glass is an upcoming mobile technology that promises to opens up a range of possibilities for the learners and instructors at school and the workplace. Google Glass can be the future of learning as it is compatible with new trends like just-in-time learning, personalization, and augmented reality.