University of Western Sydney (AUSTRALIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 5188-5194
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
“…the only man who is educated is the man who has learnt how to
learn; the man who has learned to adapt and change. The man
who has realised that no knowledge is secure, that only the
process of seeking knowledge gives a base for security … a
reliance on process rather than static knowledge, is the only
thing that makes sense as a goal for education in the
modern world” (Roger, 1969, p. 104)

Today’s education moves towards the epistemological approach or ways of knowing, which focuses on helping learners how to learn. There has been an increasing interest in exploring ways in which students learn and in particular, examining the potential of generic/transferable skills acquisition in lifelong learning. Transferable skills are widely recognised as important component of any degree and for future employment. The aim of this is paper is to explore the potential of generic/transferable skills in achieving deep meaningful lifelong learning. Lifelong learning and the ability to transfer and apply these skills to other settings, including future workplace is directly relevant to adult learning. Discussion of the highly desirable and commonly incorporated skills in education and in employment will be presented, such as critical thinking, reflection, problem-solving, team/groupwork, analytical, decision-making, interpersonal communication, presentation, written communication, time management, creativity, motivation of self/others, application of knowledge, career planning, computer and research skills. One of the challenges facing educators is the development of curriculum which facilitates the acquisition of these generic skills in learners. This paper provides recommendations in developing assessment tasks which foster the application of these generic skills such as use of case studies to develop critical thinking, reflection, group/team work, decision-making, problem-solving, and communication. Another recommendation is the use of group seminar presentations, which facilitates teamwork and interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, time management and organisational skills, presentation and oral communication skills, motivation of self and others, research and computer skills, creativity, and leadership skills. Other generic skills that can be included in assessment is written assignment, which has the potential of enhancing students’ written skills, planning, organisational, analytical and critical thinking skills, and computer and research skills. Of equal importance is to explicitly include these generic/transferable skills in course content/objectives and the expected learning outcomes. This presentation will discuss the implications for educators and curriculum designers related to their role in helping learners how to learn, by creating interest and passion among learners through adequate preparation of educational material, development of reliable and valid assessments which foster generic skills and evaluation of learning outcomes.
Transferable skills, lifelong learning.