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  • Writer's pictureMason Inc.

Trends that will change education: Skill Specific Education

What is skill based education?

Online Learning Insights recently published an insightful post. They examined Three Trends That Will Influence Learning and Teaching in 2015. They pulled data from several reliable sets of research about education and technology trends. The post provided a window into new developments in teaching and learning to watch for in 2015. We will provide our takes on their findings in a series of posts. You are reading the first.

Skill Specific Education

Skill Specific Education is also known as competency-based education (CBE). It has the potential to be the most disruptive to traditional education.

OLI notes:

Outcomes of traditional education typically are credentials in the form of a degree, diploma or certificate and are recognized by employers and institutions. On the other hand, skills education facilitates student’s learning technical skills or knowledge in a specific topic area that is measured by criteria-specific performance.

More institutions will work with local companies to develop skill specific education. Employers can serve as advisors for curriculum and program development. A large part of these new programs will involve online education. Here are the most important findings (we’re quoting here)

Drivers of Skill-Specific Education
  • Pressure on education institutions from Department of Education and/or other government entities to offer more accessible and shorter education pathways (to a credential) to accommodate non-traditional learners. The non-traditional segment is a new and growing market of adult learners with prior skills and experience

  • Expanding non-traditional student population who seek open, flexible learning

  • Skills gap identified by employers

  • High cost associated with higher education

Developments in Skill-Specific Education
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on institution-affiliated platforms focusing on skill-specific training in partnership with companies

  • Courses focusing on skills with input from employers who have a hand in developing curriculum, e.g. Nano-degrees (Udacity), and professional courses for a fee — targeting professionals (edX and Coursera)

  • Learning Management System (LMS) platform providers creating specific platforms that accommodate competency specific learning e.g. Helix LMS

  • Digital badges, e.g. Mozilla Open Badge Project

Also, see Designing for Education: Every space is a learning place and How the College Campus is Changing.

Image courtesy of US Department of Education under Creative Commons License.

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