Competency Analysis – Part 2 of Training for Competence

In order to effectively teach competency, Certified Facilitators of Adult Learning are trained to analyze the Competencies they wish their learners to perform, and then to create effective student learning strategies designed to enable learners to attain the competency.

Competency Analysis is an important step of teaching competency that is performed prior to teaching/training in order to set the objectives for the course. It includes:

  1. Discovering the hierarchy of the elements in the competency
  2. Determining the relationship between the elements
  3. Delineating the unique and common elements within the competency/.
  4. Determining the learning experiences necessary in each domain of learning (cognitive, affective and psychomotor)

For example, let's select a Competency like the ability to make a Great Pot of Coffee for an Office Party

The components to making a cup of coffee competency are:

  1. Choose which coffee maker to use (regular, K pod, expresso) (involves knowledge of the different types of coffee makers available and the ability to determine the best one to use for the situation.
  2. Choose which type of coffee to make (involves decision making based on knowledge of both the different kinds of coffee and awareness of the tastes of the people who will be drinking the coffee)
  3. Fill the coffee maker with the appropriate amount of water, filters and coffee (requires knowledge of “appropriate amounts” and where to fill each.
  4. Turn on the coffee pot (requires knowledge of where the switch is located and ability to “click the switch”
  5. Problem solve if coffee maker does not turn on. (Requires creative thinking and problem solving to find the source of the problem) In this case, coffee maker was not plugged in!
  6. When finished brewing, serve the coffee. (Requires organization of cups and people – is it buffet style and self serve?, or will someone be pouring the coffee into cups and taking cups to the people?
  7. Clean up after coffee has been served. (requires a sense of responsibility for performing a job from beginning to end)

OK – that seemed silly.  But what if you just told your student to go into the kitchen and make a pot of coffee and they

  1. Had never seen a k pod coffee maker before
  2. Didn’t drink coffee and knew nothing about the different types of coffee
  3. Didn’t know the people it was being served to, so didn’t know their different taste preferences
  4. Didn’t know that part of their job was to clean up afterward.

You “told” them what to do and they were unable to do it because they didn’t understand the components of the task.  And this is exactly what happens when you give a lecture and expect the participants to “learn” and “perform” what you told them to do. You get frustrated because they were unable to do what you wanted, and they get frustrated because they can’t figure out what you want.

Create an effective student learning strategy by first analyzing the components of the competency to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It eliminates your assumptions of what the learner knows and doesn’t know. It eliminates the learner getting lost and frustrated.

A Certified Facilitator of Adult Learning is an expert at teaching competency, and has the cognitive ability to analyze the competency to organize the learning experience around the specific component tasks. He or She also has the effective ability to understand the needs of the learner and facilitate to each individuals highest level of competence.  And that is, after all, what training is all about.

© 3/26/2020 by Jill Newman Henry, EdD  All rights reserved. Use contact form on CFALpro.com to request permission to reprint.

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