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Punch the Clock? Punch It Hard

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.( MainStreet) -- It is not the number of minutes or hours or days spent learning that matters; it is what you have learned that counts. Results are what matter. Whether it takes me five minutes, five hours or five days to produce a result, the result is the outcome, the product.

If the standard for learning is amount of time spent, then let's just log the number of hours in class. But if it is whether students (both children and adults) learn the concepts, can apply them, and demonstrate mastery, then the only reason to measure the time it takes is if someone can't learn the content in a reasonable amount of time. If they can't achieve the result, then the method of content delivery, learning, and motivation should be examined.

Hours at our desks in education or jobs is not the metric we should be setting.

We have become a culture of clock watchers, calendar markers, and time vultures. We get what we measure, and what we have been measuring in education is how much time we spend in the classroom. Throughout my education path, I focused on getting things done. If I could do it in five minutes, why take five hours? If I could say it in five pages why use 50? The content is what matters and the result and its quality is what really counts.

The same can be said of the workplace. We measure hours worked, not product produced. We clock in and clock out to get paid for the time present, not the contribution. Furthermore, all too often management makes the point of seeing faces in the office ("face time") and not looking at whether the work product is there, or if the deliverables are reached or so on.

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