I’ve been associated with “industrial skills training” since 1974, having shot and produced the first b&w videotape aimed at improving worker skills in the nuclear power industry.  And, I have shot or produced several hundred such products since that time in ever-evolving media:  Interactive Laser Videodisc (IVD), CD-ROM, DVD and e-Learning.

They were all competency based.  The materials were tested on competencies required and developed in association with actual customers who provided a list of the necessary competencies.

A few corporations worked with their local community colleges but, generally, most of them did the training on their own.

Actually, the manufacturing and process organizations didn’t have a lot of faith in a community college education back then — because it was, often, the antithesis of competency based learning.

That was more than four decades ago!

So, imagine my surprise this week when I read the following in IndustryWeek Daily:

“ With growing pressure to build and sustain a 21st century, real-time pipeline of qualified workers, the manufacturing industry and its education partners are reevaluating the traditional training model — and seeing positive results with a career-relevant approach: competency-based education (CBE).

 For years, learning — whether in a community college, vocational school or workplace — has been based on classroom hours. Students attend class, pass tests, and move on to their next course of study. Missing from that time-based and “letter grade” learning model is validation that the necessary knowledge and skills have actually been transferred in a meaningful, actionable and measurable way.  .  .  . “

If the assumptions proffered by that quote are accurate, our community colleges haven’t progressed very far in the past fifty years — and that would be a shame.

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

                                   — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

February 12, 2018  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)