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EVALUATION OF SKILLS IN EHEA: TEACHERS VS STUDENTS. A STUDY IN ACCOUNTING SUBJECTS

B. Corchuelo Martínez-Azúa, D. Gallardo Vázquez

University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
In the framework of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the process of design, implementation and evaluation of the new degrees raises many questions among teachers. One of these is linked to which skills the undergraduates have to acquire and how those skills have to be demonstrated. First, a qualified commission elaborates consensually the skills required for a degree that are specified in the curricula. Additionally, and more specifically, a qualified body of teachers establishes in their syllabuses what skills including the knowledge, behaviors and attributes the students have to acquire. The establishment and assessment of these skills become, in this sense, one of the most significant but also complex commitments in teaching.

Two factors come together in order to succeed of the current high educational system:
i) The knowledge that teachers show about their specific subject’s competences;
ii) The teachers’ evaluation of the students' results on their learning process.

These above factors maintain a close relationship in the sense that without a clear understanding of the concept of skill and its scope there cannot be a proper assessment of achievement; also, it is impossible the achievement of a specific skill if there is no appropriate evaluation mechanisms in order to assist the teacher in analyzing and evaluating the undergraduates’ results. Besides these two elements we can add other one which we consider a key factor in the process of improving teaching: how the students value and perceive the skills to be acquired.

Taking these considerations into account our main goal in this paper is, rather than developing skills’ assessment from the point of view of the first two factors, to focus on the elaboration of the third one. This constitutes a novelty and it is its main contribution.

In this sense, we have approached this study asking the students about their own assessment of the skills that have been acquired in some accounting subjects, and then we compare with their finally marks. The study of the gap between the students and teachers’ assessment criteria provide useful and valuable information on the evaluation system developed by the teacher, as well as on those skills that the students most value. This information shows us how to improve teaching and how to better carry out the process of students’ teaching-learning.