MERRIMAC, MASS. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Muzzy Lane, a global leader in educational simulations, has launched SkillBuild, a series of online short courses to help higher education institutions, employers, and learners to develop, assess, and verify soft skills that are in high demand among employers. According to research from America Succeeds, job postings request soft skills four times more often than hard skills.
The nine SkillBuild courses empower learners to gain and demonstrate soft skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, oral communication, and resilience. Previously, these skills were labor-intensive for educators and employers to assess, partly due to a lack of consistency and standards. SkillBuild uses role-playing simulations, where Muzzy Lane has been one of the founding industry leaders, to provide learners with authentic, experiential learning activities. Along the way, learners are presented with real-world scenarios and asked to make choices that build on each other. As they encounter new information and see the effects of their decisions, they learn to course-correct. Simultaneously, the simulations auto-assess the learner’s mastery of each skill, so employers and educators can trust the accompanied microcredential.
“For years, we’ve been helping educators and employers assess skills in complex scenarios that reflect the real world,” said David McCool, president and CEO of Muzzy Lane. “We’re excited to take this next step and offer learners everywhere the opportunity to learn, sharpen, or prove their soft skills and demonstrate to employers that they have these vitally important competencies. Assessing these skills through role-playing simulations is a recognized best practice for skill-based education. Experiential learning helps learners build their own mental models that improve their retention of skills and helps them apply those skills in the real world.”
The SkillBuild suite of courses enables learners to practice and master the soft skills employers are looking for and earn a microcredential they can showcase on their resumes. Employers can also integrate these courses into their learning and development programs to support employees in upskilling or reskilling. Higher education institutions can incorporate these courses as they transition to more skills-based programming.
Developed in partnership with Education Design Lab (the Lab), the courses are built on the Lab’s foundational 21st Century Skills framework and based on Muzzy Lane’s extensive experience working with universities and other educational organizations, including Western Governors University, Excelsior University, Herzing University, Arizona State University, and McGraw-Hill.
“We’re honored to work with Muzzy Lane on building tools for a more skills-based future,” said Naomi Boyer, PhD, Executive Director of Digital Transformation at Education Design Lab. “Soft skills are notoriously difficult to assess, particularly at scale, but SkillBuild will help prepare students for the non-academic challenges of the working world, and will provide employers the confidence that their newest team members have both the technical know-how and the soft skills to succeed.”
Muzzy Lane’s expansion into skills-based learning, assessment, and microcredentialing is based on insight and feedback garnered through the use of its flagship product, Author. A simulation authoring platform, Author has been used by schools and other organizations to create and deliver more than 16 million authentic learning experiences for students to practice and apply their knowledge and skills and make their learning visible to educators and others. Muzzy Lane has recently enhanced Author with new course-building features to enable educators and employers to turn their own custom simulations into full courses.
Anyone can access SkillBuild from the Muzzy Lane website, and the courses run on any browser or operating system and are compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA. Muzzy Lane offers Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) integration to allow schools and employers to easily embed SkillBuild courses in their LMS platforms.
The first SkillBuild course, on critical thinking, is currently in the pilot phase. Educators and learners can visit Muzzy Lane’s SkillBuild website to learn more and sign up for the pilot.
About Muzzy Lane
Muzzy Lane provides content and tools to support the transition to skills-based learning and training. Our SkillBuild line of soft skills courses allow learners to practice and validate their skills, providing an industry validated microcredential upon the successful completion of each course. Our Muzzy Lane Author suite of tools enables partners to develop their own skills-based simulations and courses. These can be integrated into existing courseware or delivered as standalone learning experiences. Partners can award their own microcredentials to their learners as well. We have delivered more than 16 million simulations to millions of learners and would love to help with your skills challenges as well! Visit us at MuzzyLane.com to learn more.
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