University of Vigo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 2892-2895
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Bologna Process provides some key concepts for the development of the EEES; among them are the competences or skills. Owing to the fact that the term of skill has been quite vague and confusing, several authors have defined it [1,2]. In this sense, Nelson Rodríguez [3] identifies a number of characteristics can be deduced from the different definitions of skills:

• They are permanent features of the individual.
• Become manifest when running a task or performing a job.
• They are related to the successful execution of an activity.
• They have a causal relationship with work performance,
• They can be generalized to more than one activity.

Thus, the skills come to be an essential part of the comprehensive development of student's personality. For this reason, the skills have to include learning as a necessary element.

In the university framework the skills can be classified in two types. On the one hand, the set of skills to acquire during the training process that are related to knowledge and know-how are denominated specific skills. On the other hand, the skills whose definition depend knowing how to be and knowledge to be are called core skills.
The assessment of skills, especially core skills, necessitates the use of a variety of instruments and to involve different agents. It is necessary to samples of the performances of students and use observation as a strategy for systematic data collection. Under this concept the use of rubrics can be very useful.

Rubrics can be defined as a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work. Although the format of an instructional rubric can vary, all rubrics have two features in common: a list of criteria, or "what counts" in a project or assignment; and gradations of quality, with descriptions of strong, middling, and problematic student work [4]. Thus rubrics can help teachers to evaluate core skills. In addition, rubrics can also help students judge and revise their own work before handing in their assignments.

This study is focused on the use of rubrics in the assessment of core skills. The rubric’s methodology was applied in the subject “Fermentation Process Engineering” which belongs to the fourth course of Biology degree. The selected core skills that were assessed by using rubrics: communication, numeracy, information and communication technology, problem solving and working with others. For this purpose the free internet tool RubiStar [4] was used. RubiStar is a tool to help the teacher who wants to use rubrics but does not have the time to develop them from scratch. RubiStar provides generic rubrics that can simply be printed and used for many typical projects and research assignments. Furthermore, RubiStar provides these generic rubrics in a format that can be customized.

[1] Boyatzis, R.E. (1982). The Competent Manager. London: John Wiley & Sons.
[2] Spencer, L.M. & Spencer, S.M. (1993). Competence at Work. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
[3] Rodriguez, N. (1996). Competencia Laboral.
[4] Goodrich Andrade, H. (2000). Using Rubrics to Promote Thinking and Learning. Educational Leadership 57 5.
[5] RubiStar