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SyberWorks e-Learning Podcast Transcript #20 Courses, Learning Events, Competencies and Job Roles (Transcript)

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Announcer: SyberWorks Podcast. Learn any time, any place.

Mary Kay Lofurno: Welcome to the next edition of the SyberWorks e-Learning Podcast Series. My name is Mary Kay Lofurno, and I’m the Marketing Director here at SyberWorks, and your host today.

SyberWorks specializes in custom e-Learning solutions, learning management systems, and custom e-Learning development for corporations, governments and non-profits.

In this edition, we’re talking with Dana Fine, Senior Instructional Designer and Implementation Consultant here at SyberWorks. She recently wrote an article on the distinction between courses, learning events, competencies and job roles in a learning management system. I thought we could get some tips from her today on the subject.


Mary Kay: Hi, Dana, it’s great to see you. It’s been a while since we had you on the SyberWorks e-Learning Podcast Series. So how have you been?

Dana Fine: Great. How are you?

Mary Kay: Terrific. OK, let’s get to it. Why did you write an article on the structure of courses, learning events, competencies and job roles in an LMS?

Dana: Competency, management and certification have been hot topics for our clients. They need to understand the structure and means to competency and certification for their specific business, as well as how to implement in them in our LMS.

Businesses have, in general, defined the jobs that people hold, including the competencies and skills they must learn or have to keep up–to–date and on–the–job. Businesses have also defined methods by which individuals can follow career pathways. That is what they need to do to change jobs or advance.

When using a learning management system that does competency management, you need to understand the entities that are used to define a job role, the ways that job roles are mastered, and what triggers mastery.

In most cases, the terms “course,” “learning event,” “competency” and “job role” are used. Without good definitions for these terms, the model gets confused.

Mary Kay: Well, that makes sense. These terms get thrown around pretty freely. Let's talk about some of them, Dana. What’s the difference between “course” and a “learning event”? Can you tell us?

Dana: A course is a testable and storable and learning content that can be delivered to students either online, such as through a learning management system, or offline, often in a physical classroom. Courses usually have a passing status at least, and often a specific final grade. Online courses can be tested and graded automatically, while students’ passing status and grades for offline courses need to be manually entered into the LMS.

And a learning event is a defined mechanism for delivering this subject-related content. A course of either type can enable a student to complete an associated learning event. Once completed, one or more learning events can grant students mastery of a skill or associated competency.

And once all competencies for a specific job are mastered, the associated job role is earned. Job roles are the final indication that students who earn them can perform defined functions within the organization.

Mary Kay: All right. How do competencies and job roles fit into this structure?

Dana: Most businesses use the term “job role” to refer to a desired end result. For example, Joe is a nurse at a particular medical center. Joe has the job role of nurse, which requires him to have an RN license. The RN competency has a learning event called “RN license” entered into the learning system to satisfy this learning event.

Joe also needs both a work safety and security and also a medical center competencies. And these competencies also consist of specific learning events.

For example, the learning events for the medical center competency may include medical center intake rules and regulations, medical center patients rights, medical center pharmaceutical checkout and others.

Each of these learning events should correspond to an online course, a “read and sign” document and offline course, or a demonstration. The learning management system may be able to automatically determine by means of passing a course that an associated learning event is also mastered. But a learning event can require that a human certifier indicate that the student completed a learning event and achieved mastery.

When all the learning events for a particular competency are mastered, the competency is then mastered. However, a competency definition itself may also require that a certifier indicate that the competency is finished or mastered.

As a bottom line, when all competencies are mastered the job role that requires them is also finally mastered. Unless it has been filed in the LMS, that final mastery of the job role must be indicated by a human certifier.

Of course, I could discuss this even further, but I think it's best described in my article.

Mary Kay: People should absolutely download and read your article. It’s located in the SyberWorks Media Center under the e-Learning articles section.

Dana, I know you’re busy, so I will let you go. This is great information, thanks for joining us today, and have a great week.

Dana: You too.

Mary Kay: Thanks for listening to our e-Learning Podcast Series discussion about the structure and meaning of courses, learning event, competencies and job roles in a learning management system. We talked with Dana Fine, Senior Instructional Designer and Implementation Consultant here at SyberWorks. Have a great day.


Announcer: SyberWorks Podcast. Learn anytime, anyplace.

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