About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5303-5310
Publication year: 2010
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

ASSESSING COMPETENCES

J. Juandó Bosch, M.L. Pérez Cabaní

University of Girona (SPAIN)
The consolidation of the European Higher Education Area has meant a change in role for the university professor, now closer to that of a guide or companion of the student, who in turn has to play a more active role as a learner. Within this framework, assessment remains fully integrated within the teaching and learning process.

One concept that stands out in this new model is that of competence as a reference category in how teaching is managed (and therefore how learning assessment is managed). We understand competence to be a dynamic combination of knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities (Manual of matching competences in higher education and the labour market . Graz 2009).

Through an effort of synthesis and with the objective of marrying the concept of competence with the objective of learning and the learning outcomes our research group from the University of Girona would identify competence as a continuum:

Before teaching, the competence is an aim. While teaching we work on the competence through learning activities. After teaching, the competence is a learning outcome.

With this approach, the reference point will always be competence, understood as a mobilization of a complex and diverse knowledge set aimed at the resolution of new and also complex situations.

This interpretation allows us to plan teaching, including assessment, by considering which learning activities to propose to students with regard to content in order that they acquire the competences required by their degree course. Our proposal for assessing the results of learning, or, as we like to say, assessing the level of skills acquisition, is specified in the following steps:

1. Degree courses and subjects are planned defining transversal and specific competences.
2. When professors propose a set of learning activities they must ask themselves which competence each of these activities is aimed at. Assessment activities are included within the set of learning activities.
3. At the end of the course, professors have a set of the marks obtained by each student for each assessed activity.
4. With the support of software which manages this information, professors obtain:

4.1. The average mark obtained in all of the assessed activities for the subject, which is the final mark for the subject.
4.2. The average mark obtained for each competence – each competence is worked on in different subjects of the same degree course – this is the mark for level of competence.

The key therefore lies in a reliable means of linking assessed activities with the – transversal and specific – competences linked to the subject. The key to this is therefore in the quality of the planning.

A grid matching learning terms and competences allows students, professors and the institution to monitor the evolution of competences throughout the degree.


We consider this to be an effective process for assessing and optimizing learning for the following reasons:

1. It guides professors to take the assessment of learning into account from the planning stage onwards and in a way which relates it to competences.

2. It allows the monitoring of progress made with learning and the introduction of changes aimed at improvement.
@InProceedings{JUANDOBOSCH2010ASS,
author = {Juand{\'{o}} Bosch, J. and P{\'{e}}rez Caban{\'{i}}, M.L.},
title = {ASSESSING COMPETENCES},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {5303-5310}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Juandó Bosch AU - M.L. Pérez Cabaní
TI - ASSESSING COMPETENCES
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 5303
EP - 5310
ER -
J. Juandó Bosch, M.L. Pérez Cabaní (2010) ASSESSING COMPETENCES, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 5303-5310.
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