How project-based learning and blockchain can improve the professional development industry

When we think about professional development in our careers today we consider one of two things. The first option is going back to school to pursue another degree. While this was the preferred method up until a few years ago, it results in much more college debt than a person should have, and nowadays the curriculums for certain fields are not as up to date as they should be.

The second option is taking courses online in order to learn new skills. The problem when you’re already working in a particular industry is that the courses found online tend to be focused on beginners or they are very theoretical in nature. Meaning, you’ve already grasped the concepts on offer or you’re learning boring concepts which won’t help you very much in your job. In addition, it can be hard to do self-paced learning on your own as the incentives are low.

Improving the professional development industry is a continuous process since the requirements are constantly changing, but some ways to do this are the application of new learning methods and blockchain tokenization.

Gaps in the space

A major issue plaguing colleges and universities around the world is that the world is changing at an alarming rate. This means that the concepts they teach in subjects related to the technologies of the future (e.g. cybersecurity, artificial intelligence etc.) can become outdated almost as soon as a student has graduated. When you factor in the cost and time investment required for a bachelor’s or master’s degree then this becomes very unappealing.

If you choose the online courses route on sites like Udemy, Coursera or Lynda then you run into another issue. The courses on these sites are geared towards beginners, so if you’re at the intermediate level then there isn’t much for you to choose from.

New learning methods

The sit in a classroom theoretical style of learning is being met with resistance more and more as time goes on. A classroom setting is perfect for being introduced to new topics and understanding the basics. For non-beginners, it just isn’t enough to really grasp the material so that it is of benefit to the individual learning the concepts.

One way to improve this is through project-based learning. Project-based learning allows students and professionals to learn faster through the concept of learning by doing. Instead of just focusing on the paper-based rote memorization, students are challenged to solve practical problems themselves.

Project-based learning is also important when it comes to in-demand topics of the future like programming, artificial intelligence or augmented reality. Learning with practical projects is the only way to fully understand such topics and then be able to use that knowledge in a professional setting. Project-based learning creates a more student-centered learning environment where they are able to use teamwork and communication skills to solve issues. This mirrors the real-world experiences of working in industry, something not always applicable in a classroom setting.

Tokenizing professional development

While project-based learning is an important step in the improvement of the professional development industry, another way is the incorporation of the blockchain. Education Ecosystem is using blockchain tokenization as a means of improving professional development. While we are also using the project-based learning method, our primary method of improving the industry is through Education tokens; a reward for learners in the ecosystem as well as the instructors who create projects.

Completion rates for online courses tend to be low when compared to classroom settings. One of the reasons for this is that students have little incentive to continue learning. Many online courses have a free component or are very cheap when compared to the cost of a college class. Tokenization allows students who complete courses to be rewarded with tokens for their progress. Even instructors who make these courses are sometimes unhappy with how much they are paid for the courses they offer on other online education platforms. Education Ecosystem plans to solve these problems through the Education token. The more projects an individual completes or the more high quality projects an instructor creates, the more tokens they are rewarded. Even though the token is a utility token for use on our LiveEdu platform, it can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges just like bitcoin, meaning students get paid for learning and instructors get an added bonus for teaching. Education tokens (LEDU) can be currently bought on the Bibox and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Professional development is an industry which must continue to evolve as students seek out new and improved forms of learning. After graduating college or passing the entry-level stage in one’s career it becomes harder to continue learning. However, through project-based learning and blockchain tokenization, professional development can become something which everyone and not just a select few can benefit from.

If you wish to learn more about the benefits of project learning and incorporating the blockchain then feel free to check out the Education Ecosystem blog for more reading material and updates on the platform.

More by Dr. Michael J. Garbade

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