Alterative modes of Study

When making the decision of where and how to study, a little investigation shows that different institutions take different approaches to teaching and learning. These include:

Competency based learning - CBT is heavily focused on assessment of skills.

Information-based learning -This focuses on the delivery of information by the teacher through lectures, notes, etc. and its recall by the student.

Action-based learning  -Here the students learn by ‘doing’ and testing out ideas as they work on a project.

Strategic learning  -This emphasis is on the techniques of learning – learning how to learn.

Which method of study is best for you?

Information-based and strategic learning can develop students’ understanding of theory and ideas, and their ability to learn in different contexts. They make a valuable contribution to learning, and continue to play an important part in a person’s education. However, research suggests that education that is solely based on these forms of learning does not necessarily prepare students to deal with problems and change in the real world.

Competency-based learning, on the other hand, focused on the development of practical skills. In most cases, it allows students to repeat an assessment until they can demonstrate competence in the required skills. This does not necessarily develop students’ capacity to manage their continual development, to deal with change, or to think critically or creatively.

Competency-based learning comes under a lot of criticism by employers and educators because graduates from competency-based courses often lack the flexibility, knowledge or creativity to deal with real life demands.

Increasingly, educators are turning to experiential learning approaches, such as Problem-based learning and Action-based learning. Students are presented with structured or unstructured learning experiences, and develop skills and knowledge from their experiences with problem-solving, decision-making or trial and error. Problem-based learning and Action-based learning have been shown to develop students’ creativity, critical thinking and problem solving abilities, and their feelings of competence and confidence.

Clearly, courses that combine information-based learning with problem-based learning will provide students with the greatest range of useful learning experiences.