NOVEL TOOLS FOR CONTINUOUS EVALUATION IN UNIVERSITARY STUDIES

Higher Education converges among education, research and innovation, playing a key role for, European competitiveness. On the other hand, cooperation and international exchange are very significant in higher education. Statements from European Ministries about higher Education use similar considerations and emphasize the fundamental function of Universities as a driving force for mobility and employment of European citizens as well as for the overall development of Europe. In this sense, following the meeting of responsible Ministers of higher Education in May 2005 in Bergen, 47 countries works together to coordinate their educational policies and to create the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Their objectives are to facilitate the mobility of students and graduates and to promote cooperation between higher education institutions. To achieve these goals is necessary that degrees of different countries are comparable.

The scope of an academic qualification depends of the development of its competences (e.g. knowledge, abilities and skills) and how is the depth with which they are developed and achieved. However, this may vary considering the autonomy and independence of Universities and also taking in account other social expectations associated to the University area or the development of scientific knowledge. For that, it is necessary that the skills acquired in higher education are well established. All countries of the EHEA have launched a process of redefinition of competency-based degree programs where the total student work is estimated in European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS credits). Following these guidelines and in order to recognize student skills, it is critical that teachers have available and powerful assessment tools allowing detect the maturity and level of skills that the student acquires along its formation. To facilitate the performance of this objective, we propose a system for continuous evaluation by using exercises limited in time for measuring skills such as speed of response resolving issues, the ability to improvise (with a type of problems they have not seen before), or their ability to be concentrated (with long and convoluted questions).