About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2738-2746
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain


R. Mäntylä, L. Nisula

HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Professional Teacher Education Unit (FINLAND)
The presentation introduces the dimensions of successful leading when developing competence-based curriculum in higher education. The dimensions are based on the development work of national ESFproject in Finland (Competency-based Curricula Development in Higher Education Project 2012-2014, ESF) organized in co-work by The University of Turku and Häme University of applied sciences. 12 Universities in higher education were involved to this project. During the project the criteria of competence based curriculum based on foundations of Tuning project were developed.

The main conclusions of this development process are that competence based curriculum should disclose the following areas:
1) The basic goal of the study program is introduced: The needs of local area and how the study program is profiled. How the learning path highlight the lifelong learning and how flexible learning paths will take a place in a study program (e.g. recognition of previous learning experiences). Transferrable and core competencies are stated. The structure of the study program (learning modules) is disclosed.
2) Working life relevance e.g. the competencies stated in a curriculum are relevant for the needs of working life. The future demands of the society and its changes should be foreseen and predict together with working life organizations.
3) All fields (e.g. competencies, learning modules, pedagogical methods and models, assessment tools and assessment criteria) should be in line with each other.
4) Relevant pedagogical methods.
5) Assessment criteria which are based on learning outcomes and competencies. Variation of assessment tools.
6) Student counseling (how it is implemented in the study process).

To implement the criteria successfully in a curriculum demands leading that emphasizes the knowledge of managing curriculum development processes. Based on experiences it can be argued that the following six areas of leading are important in order to guarantee an effective competence based curriculum in every-day work.

1. Combining strategy, implementation plan and curriculum work in the universities. Even the best curriculum is not sufficient if it does not guide the implementation process as planned.
2. Foresight of educational needs requires new skills from all stakeholders in universities. The coverage of quantitative and qualitative foresight data needs to be ensured.
3. Implementation of working life-orientation. Since working life-orientation is one of the strategically emphasized areas for universities both objective and approach wise, it needs to be a core factor in all stakeholder action.
4. The goal of network based operation is to offer its participants an open and confidential environment. The network is both working and learning forum at once.
5. Pedagogical cooperation as an internal operating method in universities. In leading work the most essential factor is to enable and sometimes also to obligate the teachers to cooperate.
6. University structures and systems guide and regulate the operation of the university.

Throughout the years universities have developed many so called un-written rules and norms. To influence these operational cultures with long historical background requires special effort from leading work to guarantee the implementation of the reforms. "Which ultimately leads competence based curriculum work – structure or pedagogics?”
author = {M{\"{a}}ntyl{\"{a}}, R. and Nisula, L.},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2738-2746}}
AU - R. Mäntylä AU - L. Nisula
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 2738
EP - 2746
ER -
R. Mäntylä, L. Nisula (2014) COMPETENCE-BASED CURRICULUM AND CURRICULA PLANNING, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 2738-2746.