Universitat Rovira i Virgili (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 2710-2719
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
The implementation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has led to a series of changes in the approach to and working of university training. Significant among these is training and assessment of university students in the area of competencies.
This paper sets out to present how the Rovira and Virgili University (URV) is responding to this. Thus, the aim of the paper to be given is to outline the Programme of Competencies Training and Assessment through Portfolios and assess the experience gained up to now at the URV.
The senate of the URV approved the Framework Document on the Competencies Training and Assessment Programme (PFAxC) at its meeting on 21st December 2010. This Programme is based on the experience gained so far and sets a series of goals to be attained in terms of competencies assessment.
In addition, the PFAxC also lays down a set of principles connected with fostering student autonomy, scaling the role of lecturing staff and encouraging centres and departments to play a part in defining the competencies training and assessment model.
The core of the PFAxC is the definition of a methodology for competencies training and assessment. This methodology sets out from a systemic view of learning and assessment, meaning that it envisages different points in time, agents, contexts and instruments.
The use of the competencies portfolio is proposed as a tool of key importance. The URV has defined the skill portfolio as a tool for collecting evidence submitted by the student throughout their degree course to prove the competencies he or she has acquired. The portfolio is proposed not only as a collection of evidence, but also as cause for reflection.
Thus, and in line with our university’s teaching model, the student is responsible for his or her own learning portfolio. The tasks to be performed in relation to this are planning, construction and handling of evidence and reflection upon what and how they have learnt.
Information and communications technology also plays an important part in this scheme. A commitment is made in institutional terms to make use of this technology as it can make it easier to perform these tasks and achieve the objectives presented in the proposal. After assessing various technology tools, a decision was taken to use Mahara 1.3 for the institutional portfolio.
A strategy has been drawn up to support the integration of the PFAxC into degree course programmes. The aim of this strategy is for the degree programmes to define and apply own their competencies training and assessment model.
The strategy began to be rolled out in April 2011. September 2011 saw the start of piloting the PFAxC through the Mahara 1.3 portfolio in five degree programmes. A total of 226 students, 8 lecturers, 24 tutors, members of departmental management teams and specialists technician have been taking part in this trial scheme.
Testing of the Programme is not yet complete. However, monitoring so far allows us to contribute a series of inputs which we feel to be of interest to the university community. Chief among these are the importance of student involvement, the approach to training the lecturers who teach subject courses and the tutors on the degree programme, developing pedagogical and technology tools and resources, a shared view of the project between different services within the university, involvement by agents from outside the university and institutional support for the programme.
Assessment, competencies, portfolios, European Higher Education Area, information and communications technology.