Learning science and our personal experiences have taught us a few things about how learning works and how to create great student experiences that lead to good outcomes. We refer to these as our guiding principles and they influence everything we do.
The learning experience is tailored to each student, reflecting what is known about their learning state, prior engagement, readiness, and sometimes based on the type of learning activities the student prefers or that have been most effective for them in the past.
“By personalizing learning, we meet each student where they are and move at their pace. Nobody is left behind and nobody is bored while others catch up.”
Founded on the principal that each learner comes with their own unique background, prior knowledge and experience, and interest in the subject. Students successfully complete by demonstrating that they know and can do the clearly defined learning outcomes, and not for seat time, participation, or anything unrelated. In a competency-based model, learning is constant and time is variable.
“If you’re awarding credit for seat time, you’re focused on the wrong end of the student”
The most effective training is chunked into bite-size learning experiences where no individual lesson takes more than 20 minutes, no video runs longer than 5 minutes, and no more than 7 concepts are actively taught at one time. Collections of micro-learning modules are curated into curriculum and stackable credentials.
“The best training also doubles as an on-demand job aid that can be located and reviewed at any time to provide a quick refresher or serve as a step-by-step reference.”
The learner understands what it is they are expected to know and be able to do, is frequently tested through both formal and informal activities, and is given immediate feedback so they know where they stand and what they still need to learn.
“People learn best when they have a clear understanding of what they still need to learn and practice, where and how to do so, and believe that they can.”
Effective learning experiences involve the student through frequent interactions that create a meaningful and interesting experience, including authentic practice. This engagement improves understanding, recall, skill, and application.
“Learning is not a passive activity. It is not something we can do to or for the student.”
The Learning Triangle
Learning works best when it is properly designed with learning outcomes that are clear and measurable, assessment activities that authentically evaluate each learning outcome, and learning activities that facilitate learning and practicing each outcome. When the triangle is balanced, all outcomes are taught and assessed, free from extraneous off-topic distractions.
“If we say students who complete can do something, the assessment needs to require doing that thing and not simply answering multiple choice questions about it.”