The Conveyor Belt Approach: Limiting Creativity and Innovation

By iON Digital Learning Team on 7th Oct 2015

To get a driver's licence you not only have to pass the driving test but also the road signs test. In essence, one needs to demonstrate one's theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills to obtain any kind of certification. This holds true for all professionals: doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, and so on.

Why should regular education be any different then? Our schools and colleges still follow a conveyor belt model of education. Students move from one grade to another in 'batches', in a time-bound learning-grading structure. A lot of educational institutions follow a standard approach for all students despite the fact that no child is alike. This could limit innovation, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking. This causes the risk of significant learning gaps and poor student outcomes, which ultimately affects their employability quotient.

According to National Employability Report 2014, only 18.09 percent of graduates get jobs in India. While our conventional education system is producing large number of graduates, it is not able to create employable resources.

Competency-based Education: Moving From a Time-based System to a Learning-based One
Competency-based education (CBE) holds a promise of enriching and enhancing student outcomes. It is defined as "as a system of education, often referred to as proficiency or mastery based, in which students advance upon mastery" according to CompetencyWorks. The unique differentiating principles of competency education are described in the table

Principles Implications
Advancement upon demonstrating mastery
  • Advances not based on age
  • Assignments given to students as per capability
  • Courses not time bound, giving students the flexibility to complete them according to their ability
  • Teachers act as guides
Explicit, measurable learning objectives
  • Modular courses
  • Students responsible for their learning
  • Learning not limited to the boundaries of a classroom
Meaningful assessments
  • Student-centred assessments driven by learning objectives rather than accountability in terms of teacher targets
  • Multiple forms of assessments help understand students' level of understating and knowledge
  • Immediate feedback after assessments helps student identify areas of improvement and re-learn the concepts
  • Close teacher collaboration with students to help teachers understand and identify demonstrated competency of students
Instant support to students
  • Educators are equipped to quickly respond and support students
  • Flexible lesson plans are designed to suit varied learning styles
  • Teachers given feedback to track progress of individual students
Application of skills and knowledge
  • Availability of rubrics to help students move to the next level
  • Comprehensive learning skills to ensure students are college- as well as employment-ready
  • Expansive learning opportunities available to provide a learning continuum for students

iON Digital Learning Solution: Facilitating Competency Learning

iON Digital Learning Solution combines multiple features to support competency learning that will help educational institutions re-imagine the conventional education system. The platform reinforces key principles of competency learning such as:
- Personalised learning
- Regular assessments and instant evaluations, along with personalised feedback
- Collaboration among teachers and students
- Self-driven and self-assessed learning
- Flexible learning
- Modular learning

Digital Learning is a competency education solution that helps educators and students with the means to drive better learning outcomes and gain mastery over their subjects respectively.

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