21st Century Skills and Competencies

At TEL Education, we believe that student success depends on developing key 21st-century skills and competencies. That’s why we integrate those competencies — TEL Mastery Standards — into every course. These standards are divided into four categories:

Communication and writing skills

Students must be able to clearly outline and explain their thoughts and ideas.

Interpersonal communication skills 

Students must be able to work with others of varying skill levels and experiences. 

Critical thinking skills 

Students must be able to look at information, understand any gaps and biases within it, and form an independent opinion based on that information. 

Creative thinking skills

Students must be able to look at a problem and understand that there are multiple ways of solving it. With this knowledge, students can then find new ways of approaching a solution.

Mastery Assignments

In traditional course design, instructors and instructional designers generally treat the acquisition of specific course information as the primary course goal. But for students to be successful in a world where names, dates, and definitions are a search bar away, they need more from their courses than rote memorization.

When we shift the focus from simply retaining information to actually applying, analyzing, and mastering a concept, however, it changes the course design process significantly. Because the emphasis is now prioritizing students’ ability to demonstrate what they know in ways that would be relevant to their lives and their future, the course designers must now think through how students can exhibit mastery before even building the course outline.

Learn more about TEL’s Mastery Standards by visiting https://www.tel-education.org/tel-mastery-standards/.