APPLIED COMPETENCE EVALUATION ; EFFICIENT ASSESSMENT TOOLS FOR AN OUTCOME-BASED APPROACH
College education in Quebec prepares the student for either professional work in technical fields or for university studies. All programs of studies have both a general curriculum and a program-specific curriculum. All college programs, be they two-year pre-university programs or three-year technical programs, are outcomes-based and have provincially set standards. In each fifteen-week semester, a student will have between seven and nine courses, with a final mark attributed for each. Each college has the responsibility of developing its own courses (content, learning activities and evaluation practices) which will lead to the prescribed, province-wide final outcomes.
Over the years, we have developed and refined a way of clarifying and formulating learning outcomes, learning activities and evaluation practices which allows students to develop and to demonstrate their skills and abilities progressively, and allows teachers to accompany students through the learning process while exercising their judgment about the degree to which each student has reached the desired outcomes.
The approach we wish to present borrows from both European and American schools of thought on competency and evaluation, but is adapted to our particular context. We believe that assessment of competency requires that data not merely be given a point value that is turned into a grade, but rather that all information gathered be considered relevant, and that context and meaning should always enter into the interpretation of the data. By presenting a few practical examples, we hope to demonstrate that this can be achieved efficiently and with relative ease.