The current labour context is increasingly changing, driven by the continuous blooming of technological changes. So, the integration of recent graduates to the labour market, as new professionals, demand the acquisition of not only each field’s specific Hard Skills, but also generic, transversal Soft Skills which might facilitate the adaptation of these professionals to future contexts, while enabling them to develop their work career in a responsible way, as well as increasing their entrepreneurial spirit. These abilities are especially relevant in the field of design engineering, as the idiosyncrasy of the discipline leads their practitioners to offering solutions to diverse problems society and users have. So their professional development is inextricably linked to social changes and society evolution.
In this way, in the “Sustainable Development Goal 4, Education 2030” (SDG4-Education 2030), regarding targets and commitments, the UNESCO defines the needs to emphasize the development of high-level cognitive and non-cognitive/transferable skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, communication skills or conflicts resolution, which can be applied across a wide range of occupational fields.
Therefore, the acquisition of these Soft Skills by design professionals can ease their adaptation to a novel future scenario and guarantee a prolonged professional development over time. So, not only learners should be provided with opportunities to update their skills continuously through lifelong learning, but it is also necessary to give the chance for active professionals to adapt to new contexts in the future.
This work presents an action proposal aimed to enhance the acquisition of Soft Skills by design professionals, in a playful way. So, a conceptual proposal of a methodology, based on the concept of Gamification, is suggested, where the degree of acquisition of some Soft Skills by the designer would be assessed.
To do so, a platform where sharing and assessing evidences is to be developed. And the incentive for the participation of both new graduates and professionals lies in the detection of their professional weaknesses (from the evidences’ assessment) and the possibility of having a feedback consisting of professional recycling actions.
The use of Smartphones becomes the vehicular platform for acquiring and assessing these transversal abilities, as these devices offer different technological possibilities for generating the designers’ own evidences, by means of actions such as voice recording, video recording, image capturing, text recognition, etc. Once generated, the evidences would be assessed by using a co-evaluation system, based on a peer review process, where the evaluation of colleagues’ work is presented as a part of a collaborative game and where the assessment process of peers’ work can contribute ideas for improving personal Soft Skills. Furthermore, all this may end up in the generation of a community with common interests.
As a result, the suggested methodology can offer a useful tool for designers for continuously assessing the state of their Soft Skills, thus facilitating their progressive adaptation to the changes to their future professional contexts.