BOSTON, (February 10, 2015) – Colleges and universities now have a framework that synthesizes the holistic set of learning experiences accrued by individuals. “Evidence of Learning: The Case for an Integrated Competency Management System for Students, Higher Education and Employers” is the latest research from Tyton Partners (formerly Education Growth Advisors) and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The report establishes a common definition and framework of “Evidence of Learning,” identifies gaps that deter alignment of processes and systems, and helps leaders in higher education link disconnected solutions to better serve their own needs, the needs of students, and the needs of employers.
Tyton Partners defines “Evidence of Learning” as the body of knowledge, skills, and experience achieved through both formal and informal activities that an individual accumulates and validates during their lifetime. This definition provides a point of common ground as colleges and universities begin to reassert their roles as lifelong stewards of students’ individual records of learning.
“The challenge for college and university leaders right now is there are many solutions serving the five segments of the Evidence of Learning framework, without any established paths between them. Equally of note though, is the unique position postsecondary institutions hold to encourage greater coordination across the marketplace,” said Adam Newman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Tyton Partners, the leading education investment banking and strategy consulting firm. “The chief benefit of institutions’ engagement around this issue will be a more transparent and aligned system enabling students’ fulfillment of college and career goals.”
The traditional approaches to measuring and sharing an individual’s learning no longer match the expectations of students, employer, and higher education administrators. According to “The Carnegie Unit: A Century-Old Standard in a Changing Education Landscape,” a new report from the Carnegie Foundation, the credit hour was never intended to measure what students have learned. Post-graduation, transcripts and resumes are one-dimensional snapshots of an individual student’s knowledge and skills; perpetuating reliance on formal credentials earned and an institution’s brand to signal the aptitude of a job candidate. In the job market, transcripts and resumes used as proofs do not fully capture or communicate a graduate’s capabilities and understate skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving; skills that employers have repeatedly said they value.
“As the bridge between students and the workforce, postsecondary institutions are uniquely positioned to find and deliver the best tools and resources to capture and communicate Evidence of Learning,” said Newman. “College and universities must rise to this opportunity or risk erosion of a core value proposition in linking learning and employment and lifelong development.”
A second publication “Evidence of Learning: Understanding the Supplier Ecosystem,” provides definitions and commentary regarding seven markets – Accreditation Services, Alternative Education Programs, Assessment Services, Learning Authentication Services, Portfolio Platforms, Student Support and Success Networks, and Workforce Alignment Platforms – comprising the Evidence of Learning ecosystem. This complementary research reviews these markets’ intersection with the Evidence of Learning framework and highlights a selected index of companies and organizations active across the markets.
“The research provides a jumping off point for anyone interested in taking a closer look at the supplier ecosystem. What is evident is that while individual solutions may have established traction in existing markets, companies and organizations face headwinds in large part because of the immense challenges they face integrating their offerings as well as serving the distinct, but connected, audiences of students, institutions, and employers,” said Chris Curran, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Tyton Partners. “Filling the gaps will take a more systemic understanding of the issues and foresight from companies to find and create strategic partnerships that stitch this distributed landscape together.”
The comprehensive Evidence of Learning research is available for free download at http://tytonpartners.com/library-category/papers/.
About Tyton Partners
Tyton Partners is the leading provider of investment banking and strategy consulting services to the global knowledge sector. The firm has offices in Boston and Stamford (CT), and an experienced team of bankers and consultants who deliver a unique spectrum of services from mergers and acquisitions and capital markets access to strategy development that helps companies, organizations, and investors navigate the complexities of the education, media, and information markets. Tyton Partners leverages a deep foundation of transactional and advisory experience and unparalleled level of global relationships to make its clients’ aspirations a reality and catalyze innovation in the sector. For more information visit www.tytonpartners.com or follow us @tytonpartners.