Education & Learning

Changing Roles in Education from Instruction to Assessment?

One change we are facing in education is the ability to deliver content without an instructor or talking head. This changes the role of an educator and “should” shift the role and focus to competency assessment. We have ever-increasing repositories of free digital content online including text, images, videos and even lectures that stitch them all together. We can (if we apply ourselves) deliver much of what is needed in asynchronous and in some cases synchronous (virtual group) settings. This can improve standardization and allow for remediation and performance support at the fingertips of anyone who wants to do “x”

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Education innovation has learning experts from corporations to higher education to the K-12 classroom beginning to realize that we might have more important roles to play. A renewed focus on performance, competency development and assessment … mastery.

Private corporations and higher education institutions need to get serious about performance based competency development in order to remain relevant and continue to provide value to their students, clients, partners, associates, etc., If we are confident in our knowledge, then we should be perfectly able to outline specific criteria in the form of the expectations on “x” topic for “y” group of learners. We would then promote the requirements to achieve “a” “b” and “c” to become equal (or better) to our current ways of tracking competence through roles, course completion, degrees, diplomas, licenses,  … etc., Revise the focus from grades or course completion to abilities, competencies and/or demonstrated mastery.

Kyle Peck suggests that educators might consider moving away from the typical laser-like focus on instructional delivery and I agree. Instead we could leverage technology for delivery (already happening). Utilize the ever pervasive knowledge store and increasingly content-rich environment for the acquisition of new knowledge (also already happening). In this new world, our focus as educators naturally turns to assessment – recognizing and building mastery in learners. This is a tall order … it requires and demands true expertise and judgment – the ability to effectively evaluate and assess learners and offering up the mechanisms to help in this task.

A few suggestions for educators that I have quoted or paraphrased from Kyle’s posts:

  1. Embrace “micro-credentialing” and adopt a mastery-based approach.
  2. Understand that our primary role is providing high-quality assessments and certifying that learners have acquired knowledge and developed skills, and abilities.
  3. Redesign learning to require interaction with others – so that we can observe, track, evaluate, and help maintain mastery in our target audiences;

Source: Re-placing Educators: How Innovation is Changing the Teaching Role Kyle Peck

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