Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Connecting Learning to Needed Competencies

A short explanation of competency-based learning centers.
Many people understand the inherent potential of using education and training to develop needed skills of their employees.  With the growth of MOOCs, short-course formats, eLearning and competency-based education, it seems like a great idea to harness the innovative programs that are rapidly evolving in the marketplace.

Think about it. Your employees are hungry for relevant learning opportunities that will help them to grow in their careers. And every day more learning content is developed from accredited institutions and training providers.  When managed properly, enabling the learning is good business for you. It can lead to increased retention, higher productivity and more engaged employees.  

How exactly do you, as an employer, link these very different worlds together? More to the point, how do you get access to the learning that matters for your employees? And do this without paying for more than you need, dedicating precious resources that are already overstretched, or getting bogged down in yet another IT-dependent project?
Competency-based Learning Center

At Knoitall, we have taken a novel approach to this challenge. We use software to map the world’s learning opportunities directly to the needed skills and competencies of an organization. The result is a competency-based learning center that is unique for each organization.  

There are many advantages to this approach:
  • Connects employees to learning options that foster the skills and competencies desired by employers. When I led the tuition assistance business at EdLink one of the biggest concerns of employers was spending money on education that did not benefit their organization.
  • Supports the skills development of millennial employees. Educational opportunities and career development are the top retention drivers for this group.
  • Integrates all of the learning options into a single learning center. It eliminates the scattered approach to managing learning assets, which is common at so many organizations (e.g. separate portals for tuition assistance options, internal training programs, leadership development programs, partner school programs, etc.).

Magic behind the curtain
To support this approach, learning providers “list” programs with Knoitall. They can be degrees, certificates, individual classes, self-directed videos and more. Just as importantly, face-to-face as well as online programs are supported. As long as it delivers a learning outcome, it has a place within Knoitall

Every time a learning opportunity is listed, it is mapped to a proprietary list of almost 600 competencies. The competencies are relevant to employers and include categories such as business (e.g. project management), computers and software (e.g. cybersecurity) or science and math (e.g. bioinformatics) among many others.

The power for the employer comes from selecting the right competencies to jointly build the skills of individual employees and the skillset of the organization. We work with employers to support their process of selecting competencies. In many cases, the employer has already identified the relevant competencies. If not, we can guide them through obtaining this information within their organization.

Once the needed skills and competencies are defined and shared, our software maps the learning to the skill needs of an employer. The result is a learning center that directly corresponds to the employer’s needs. This starkly contrasts with standard learning catalogs of randomly aggregated learning content, which may or may not be relevant to an employer.

About the Author
John Zappa is a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Knoitall, which help employers develop the skills of their workforce through private learning marketplaces.  An industry expert on lifelong learning, John has spoken at numerous industry conferences including Chief Learning Officer Symposium, Society of Human Resource Management, and The Conference Board, and has co-authored articles on corporate tuition assistance programs and talent management.  

1 comment:

  1. Its very useful to me. Wonderful blog.. Thanks for sharing informative Post.

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