THE SKILLS ASSESSMENT AT UNIVERSITY: TO BE AN ACTIVE PART IN THE FUTURE EDUCATIONAL CHOICES
The assessment of the competences (or skills assessment) wants to be an integrated action of orientation, motivation and support, with the aim of support students into the building of their learning project through the analysis of core competences owned. The assessment of competence is centered on the subject because he is considered as the protagonist of his story and the main maker of his own adaptation to the life environment. In the 2012/2013 academic year, a pattern of Assessment of competences, has been offered to the first year’s students of some Department of the University in Naples Federico II. The psycho-pedagogical service, called Skills assessment, was born and developed by the University Centre SInAPSi .
The objectives are as follows:
1) to help/to support/to orient students to be more aware of their resources, to support them in a work aimed to the construction/reconstruction of skills and meta-skills;
2) to carry out a "recognition/mapping" of skills (life skills, core competence, etc.) considered as resources for the subject according to the elaboration of a learning support and university inclusion plan.
The skills assessment aims to investigate educational, scholastic and professional abilities and competences of university students, taking into consideration the capability/possibility of a subject to use, to exchange and "put in place" his own resources. The skills examined are described in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) for lifelong learning proposed by the European Parliament in September 2006. In addition to skills indicated in EQF, the Life Skills, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). They are identified as Key Competences. The path of skills assessment is divided into three phases. During the first phase, defined presentation and welcome phase, the goals, the steps and the development of skills assessment are presented to students, reunited in plenum. At the end the students complete a presentation form. In the second phase, the investigative one, a testing work (a questionnaire) starts, to explore student's personal abilities and competences in order to increase his knowledge and his self awareness. In the third phase, the final one, the collected elements are compared with the presumed future project, in order to make the student conscious of what can support or obstruct this plan. In the 2012/2013 academic year, The 144 examined students come from the following university courses: Agricultural Technologies and Environmental and Forest Sciences, Social Service and Modern Studies. At the beginning of the university career, the analysis and the identification of competences facilitates the recognition of the acquired skills during the educational path of the student. At the same time it facilitates the awareness of needs and results that the formative system can satisfy. The skills assessment allows the students to understand if the current competences (key, specific and cross competences) can cross in a synergistic growth path with the knowledges, the competences and the abilities offered by the educational path of university, or if is necessary to consider actions to realign the input and output skills. The skills assessment can be an useful vehicle to guide the student in the dynamic plan of his future, helping him to have an active part in his future educational choices.