In my previous blog post, How to Assess for ERP Competency, I defined competencies and discussed the process of assessing for competency, as opposed to assessing for knowledge. You may also recall some of the shortfalls of assessing for knowledge, which I pointed out in the ‘Cons’ section of my blog on The Pros and Cons of ERP Certification. I think this is a good time to explore the benefits of a competency-based approach to training and assessment. Here are six benefits – both for the employer and the employee.
Just last week, my Dad and I were discussing and debating the value of certifications in the real world – a contentious topic that is widely debated across different professions. Being a civil engineer, my Dad shudders at the idea of hiring a newbie engineer who has achieved a professional qualification without any exposure to applying this knowledge practically. In his industry, practical experience is a requirement. However, only gaining hands-on experience and not having the necessary professional qualification also excludes applicants. The candidates he would consider hiring have the necessary professional qualification and have completed a practical internship of sorts with an engineering firm – the best of both worlds.
Despite being someone who is generally conscious about what and how much I eat, there are occasions when I cheat – my weaknesses are cheese and chocolate. When my fiancé bought a slab of Swiss dark chocolate recently, the first thing I did was look at the nutritional information. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, instead of giving the values per 100g, they had listed the values per piece. Knowing the kilojoule, fat and sugar content of just one piece encouraged me to limit myself to one bite-size piece of heaven. I had just enough to get that bitter-sweet dark chocolate taste, satisfy my craving for something sweet and avoid that feeling of guilt you get after devouring an entire slab of chocolate. In this case, less really was more. This got me thinking about a more digestible alternative in learning – bite-size education.
Learning how to use an ERP system is not always that easy but it can be significantly simplified with an understanding of the needs of the learner. Just like we do when developing new solutions in our ERP, when developing learning material, a critical question to ask is “Does the learning meet the target audience’s learning style and preferences?” The individually driven and theoretically based objectives of traditional teaching methods need to catch up with our modern connected world by embracing collaboration through social media technologies and adapting to the learning styles and characteristics of younger generations (Generation Y and the Millennial Generation or Generation Z).