By Capt. Richard Teo
FNI FCILT MAICD
Continuation – A Journey of Hope and Aspiration Part 2.
Competency Based Learning (CBL) and Competency Based
Education, Training and Assessment (CBETA)
Outcome Based Education (OBE)
Andragogy, Pedagogy, Action Reflection Learning, Focus
Groups, Cross Functional Groups
Chris Argyris of Harvard University and Monitor Company Group states that learning may be defined as the detection and correction of error. In most cases only single loop learning occurs where errors are corrected without altering the underlying
governing values. However double loop learning occurs when errors are corrected by changing the governing values and then the actions. A simple example is a thermostat that can be programmed to reset the temperature itself instead of just turn on or off at a pre-set temperature
This was one of the fundamental principles that enthused the workshop. It was also the manner in which the participants of the workshop tackled the project and the task in hand. It helped each participant gain insight into and enhance their competence for helping themselves and others to detect and correct difficult, potententially embarrassing, or threatening problems. It also showed how the learning context is used to design the learning experience in the delivery of the missing competences.
This approach developed in
Sweden (MiL Institute) during the 1970s and later in the USA was based on Prof. Reg Revans’ principles. He created this learning for the UK National Coal
Board in 1945 based on the formula:
L = P + Q (where Learning = Programmed knowledge +
Questioning insight) Revans’ Law then stated, “For an organisation to survive, its rate of learning must be at least equal to the rate of change in its external environment”
(More on this when you attend the GlobalMET teacher-facilitator training programme in 2015/16)
Action research (AR) and action reflection learning (ARL), combined was a very effective approach for this project, consisting of practice, change, development and
implementation. The participants were drawn enthusiastically towards this methodology to identify the shortfalls or gaps in the training and development for seafarers and then to meet the development and training needs for the competences
within the gaps. The action learning and research into the current practices brought forth improvement opportunities to formulate strategies as timely interventions for MET and the regulatory administration to correct these discrepancies.
The regulatory administration and the industry then must implement necessary public policy to uphold the changes. As each focus group concentrated on their areas of interest and made the necessary actions to discover the gaps through research and direct questioning amongst themselves and external sources that they were able to reach, the gathering and collection of data became quite intensive.
From data collected, each focus group was able to identify the gaps and formulate learning and assessment strategies to provide for the delivery of training for each discipline and level of qualifications. To a very high degree the focus groups were
engaged in several aspects of competency based learning. Some very relevant applications for successful outcomes were based on:
Adult learning – andragogical approach (Knowles 1980)
Learner centred strategies – transformational learning
Collaborative learning and participative inquiry
Work-based learning – WBL (work-place essential key
performance goals & objectives) to industry standards or benchmarks.
Performance based learning – engaging learned knowledge and application skills that were demonstrable by each participant, satisfying the domains of learning and
dimensions of competency. The delivery of training for the gap competencies must
be performed by methodology in accordance with STCW requirements, that is, by Competency Based Learning (CBL) – Competency Based Education, Training and Assessments (CBETA).
A Journey of
Hope & Aspiration
10 Train, Train, ReTrain, ReTain!
Competency Based Learning or Competency Based
Education Training & Assessment
This elusive learning and doing methodology has slipped away unnoticed as almost every institution continues to deliver by pedagogical approach, demanding memory learning, knowledge transfer (subject-centred), from text books and subject matter, strictly time tabled, teacher-centred, didactic, top down, by lectures mainly in a classroom environment and authoritarian dissemination of information and knowledge.
These required compulsory memorising of data and information that had to be regurgitated, thus privileging examinations.
These examinations, written and oral (viva voce) were graded with minimum pass marks of 50%, 60% or 70%, in most cases, indicating an insufficiently developed and trained i.e. a “not yet competent“ entity. These forms of assessments, mostly were
not aligned to any agreed benchmark or performance criteria (performance-centred, Knowles 1980 pp 44-45) and did not fully satisfy the conditions that must be reliable, valid, fair, consistent and authentic evidence of competence.
Current curriculum in many cases did not align directly to the standards and determined competences of the STCW code; i.e. not benchmarked to the competences per qualifications. Why is this so? Could competences be attained or achieved when not:
1. Identified clearly as a benchmark?
2. Described and nomenclatured accordingly – No clearly defined descriptors?
3. In accordance with standards – No performance criteria laid
4. Assessed with real-time evidence of performance having been attained?
5. 100% ability applying the required knowledge, skills and praxis in performing the task or tasks required to attain the competence?
6. Using universal competence outcome designed assessment tools that were rigorous, reliable, fair, flexible, authentic, consistent and valid, and so on?
Guidelines for assessing competence in VET 2012)
Faced with these questions, the workshop included intensive learning and praxis of CBL-CBETA. This was reinforced by CHED’s publication “Trilogy of Outcome based Education, 2014”.
Ultimately all forms of MET must not only meet the populist of the domains of learning (Bloom, Krathwol 1956, 2002 & Harrow, 1972) but also satisfy the five dimensions of
competency. The latter dimensions have been largely ignored by most MET institutions and regulatory jurisdictions, due to insufficient knowledge, skills and praxis of CBL – CBETA. The IMO instructions for writing model courses does indicate this gap. It was also seemingly obvious that there was little depth of understanding on how best to transform the learning and doing, applying the shift in paradigm from traditional
pedagogy to CBL/CBETA, applying andragogy for learners who are adults and not children. Mariners young and old are mature learners who have experiential skills and knowledge and are in control of their destiny. This distinction meant that mariners
need to be able to manage their learning. Facilitators in MET institutions must realise this and help their learners from the time they are enrolled as cadets. There is that compelling need to learn to manage their learning effectively. The transfer of the competences must be absolute and hopefully, not namby-pamby as seen in many cases.
As each group worked on their respective areas of work, it was obvious that gaps in the delivery of competences was an issue. Gaps in regulatory administration occurred between the various bodies engaged in the areas of:
Teacher development and training to facilitate the MET requirements of CBL/CBETA/OBE
Standard of delivery of courses, training programmes and other training needs
Assessments and examinations methodology and skills
Overall administration and quality assurance in award of CoC and Licenses
Suggested Further Reading
Anderson, L.W., Krathwohl, D.R., Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M.C. (Eds.). (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing. New York: Addison Wesley Longman
Bloom, B.S., Engelhart, M.D., Furst, E.J., Hill, W.H., & Krathwohl, D.R. (Eds.). (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives – The Classification of Educational Goals – Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain. London, WI: Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd.
Forehand, M. (2005). Bloom’s taxonomy: Original and revised. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching, and Technology. Retrieved on July 7, 2009, from: http://projects.coe. uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Bloom%27s_Taxonomy
Guidelines to assessing competence in VET (2012) 4th Ed, Training WA, Government of Western Australia
Knowles, M. etal (1984) Moving from pedagogy to andragogy in Hiemstra R & Sisco B (1990) Individualizing Instruction, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Pappas.C (2014) 9 tips to apply adult learning theory to eLearning Inc.
Krathwohl, D.R. (2002). A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy: An overview [Electronic Version]. Theory into Practice, Volume 41, Number 4, Autumn 2002, pp. 212-218.
In the next instalment: Where to from here?