A new operating system for learning
I believe that in order to create a better world for everyone we need to become better at working together and in order to unlock our collective potential we need radically better ways to learn.
With that in mind the Learning Paths System is a new way to structure learning programs.
Why is learning important?
- The short tarm goal is to gain a useful skill to solve a specific problem.
- The long term goal is to become a better person (a better spouse and parent, a more sought after professional, etc.).
- The end goal is to make the world a better place for everyone (that is increase the total, average and minimum quality of life).
A new operating system for learning
The primary purpose of the Learning Paths System is to help Teachers help Learners acquire the Skills they need to succeed at whatever it is they want to succeed at.
The Learning Paths System aims to provide better answers to two key questions:
- What is worth learning?
- How to learn it?
One of the ways the LPS aims to achieve this is through a highly structured and granular approach that enables radical adaptability and continous, data-driven improvement of all elements.
Using the Learning Paths System can help Teachers multiply their impact while keeping the essential human element at the center of the experience.
Basic building blocks of Learning Paths
These are the key concepts that lie at the heart of the Learning Paths system:
- Skill (or Capability) = an ability to repeatably achieve a well defined goal
- Observable Competence Criteria = an unambiguous test of a Skill.
- Learning Activity or Challenge = something you do to gain, demonstrate or reinforce a skill (or several related skills).
- Learning Path = a set of related activities that go naturally together (walked by previous learners, paved/marked by guides).
- Learning Map = the sum of all skills and stories in a certain area.
- Learning Journey = the set of skills, activities and challenges selected and completed by a particular person throughout their learning experience.
- Teacher = a coach, mentor, teacher, sempai or anyone who has walked the paths in a certain area and can guide new learners through them.
- Learner = the learner walking a new path using the map to orient self, with or without the help of a guide. Everyone can be a learner regardless of their skill level.
How will Learning Paths work?
The first step is for a Teacher to sketch out a Learning Map of the area they want to teach.
When the Student is ready to learn she will choose a starting point based on her goals, context and preferences.
As the Student works through Learning Activities and Challenges she can “choose her own adventure” by skipping unintereating branches and digging deeper into the areas that are most relevant to the Student.
The Student builds a solid foundnation for future success by unambiguously demonstrating her new Skills (meeting Observable Mastery Criteria) as to avoid a false sense of achievement if real learning did not occur.
As the Student masters the fundamentals she can graduate to more advanced programs and once she reaches the frontiers of well worn paths she can venture out with a confidence of a solid foundation to return to once in a while.
At any point the Student can help guide less advanced learners through completed Challenges and once confident enough the Student can build their own Learning Paths in a different area or create an alternative way to guide future learners through the same area.
All the while the Learning Paths System observes each new learner progressing through each program and helps the course creator improve it. The structure and granularity of the model increases the “resolution” of those observation and will allow insights unavailable in a traditional approach.
If the vision outlined in this article resonates with you join us and help make it a reality!
If you’re good at what you do I’d love to learn how you got that way.
If you’re a teacher I’d love to talk to you about how you teach.