Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 3110-3117
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Competence-based education has gradually increased in attention and importance in Higher Education settings, due to the necessity of aligning employers’ demands and educative offer. It is this context that company internships, studies abroad and competence development –among other issues- become a must.

The objective of this paper is to explore competence assessment and development of a group of students from the University of Talca (Chile) coursing a Postgraduate on Design visiting the University of Girona, Spain for a semester during the course 2013/2014. We test their present and desired competence levels and we compare them to a similar group from the academic course 2009/2010 in order to capture a dynamic perspective.

The available data on competences comes from the self-evaluation of the two groups university students using an ICT-based tool, called Cycloid (from the general EVOLUTE system, to evaluate the social and personal competences required for the work-role of project manager. The aggregate competence map is complemented with a post-evaluation questionnaire which collects information on students’ perception in relation to competences. Further and since 2012 a worksheet is also provided for students in order to gather their own proposals in terms of concrete actions to gain and/or improve priority competences.

Research questions:
RQ1: What were students’ perceived competence strengths and weaknesses at present and for the future for the past course 09/10? This question helps us identifying possible changes occurring between the two periods in terms of competences.
RQ2: What are students’ perceived competence strengths and weaknesses at present and in the future for the course 13/14? This question gives the answer to the identification of possible improvement areas, or intentional change.
RQ3: What actions students propose to improve their own competence?

Preliminary results:
Preliminary results show that for the course 13/14 students from the University of Talca (Chile) detect as strengths: developing others, analytical thinking, collaboration, initiative and emotional awareness. On the other hand, main weaknesses include: stress tolerance, achievement orientation, seeking information, innovativeness and optimism. Further information will be provided on students’ perception towards competence evaluation and proposals for improvements. The authors believe that the detailed results have important implications for different communities: students, teaching staff, and possibly, university management.
Competences, cycloid, creative tension, higher education.