It's Not What You Know, It's What You Can Do

Success starts with personalized and competency-based learning

Here’s a pet peeve of mine you may recognize if you’ve read some of my previous posts. With the world continuing to innovate and evolve at a rapid pace…why are the ways corporations enable their employees and the way students learn in schools not evolving as well?

We should be emphasizing mastery of the desired topic translated to performance on the job and not just seat time. At the end of the day, it is less important to companies what you know and more important what you can do.

Schools are starting to see the need for change as well and are beginning to adjust their models. For example, the US Department of Education is starting to promote a shift to competency-based and personalized learning. Recently, a high school in the US state of New Hampshire started to use competency-based learning in their curriculum. According to the article, “Making [students] get up and kind of prove [their understanding] is a lot more telling than giving them multiple-choice or essay questions, where it’s kind of just repeating what you’ve taught them.”

A recent study has shown that 80% of corporate training is never applied back to the job. How is this possible? This is because most companies are using antiquated models for tracking enablement progress. Most companies will define completion of a learning module based off whether the employee completed the course or not, or best case, based off some type of multiple choice assessment delivered at the end of the class. As long as the checkbox is checked, employees are back on the job, but really have not proved they can apply these skills to the job.

Not only does this create waste in terms of training development, but also in terms of employee productivity. What companies need to do is strive for a learning program that can help employees do their job. Content needs to be directly applicable to their role. With everyone having different experiences to draw on, and different aptitudes for the given topics, how can a program be designed and scaled to meet the needs of each individual employee?

Content needs to be available in multiple modalities to help every style of learner. Employees need to be able to learn at a pace that is suitable for them. And the content must be adaptable so that the difficulty can be adjusted based off each learner’s prior experiences and aptitude.

Here at Qlik we emphasize mastery and not seat-time, and we take a personalized approach to learning and enablement with our customers, partners and employees.

When it comes to success, it’s not what you know, it’s what you can do. Does your training program know that?


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