UNIVERSITY ASSESSMENT OF COMPETENCES IN A COMPETENCE-TRAINING MODEL
Assessment is one of the most influential curricular elements regarding learning processes and outcomes (Biggs, 2006). It is a reference for the student’s attitude towards the new learning goal, so that their motivation and task involvement is strongly conditioned by the assessment processes that we design (House, 1997).
The concept ‘traditional assessment’ in higher education is being transformed in such a way that affects:
(1) What is the object of evaluation? This concept has traditionally referred to the evaluation of specific academic contents which, mainly through repetition processes, students have learned/memorized. This situation is changing with our implementation of the European Space for Higher Education (Romero, 2008) because the introduction of competences in the design of the new degrees makes us extend the scope and the content of assessment (Delors, 1996).
(2) How do I assess? If the content of assessment is modified, the same thing should be done for the mechanisms, techniques and tools that we use. For the assessment of competences, we know that the traditional type of exam is a useful tool, but only for the evaluation of the learning of conceptual contents. Nevertheless, procedures and attitudes should be assessed with more varied and global tools.
(3) What do I assess for? The concept of educational assessment is deeply joined to the concept of improvement. University evaluation (just as any other educational stage) should be formative (Díez, 2007), that is to say, it must offer a value judgement on the students’ work that allows us to identify the strong and the weak points, at the same time that it offers mechanisms and suggestions for improvement.
A Pilot experience is taking place in the Faculty of Education of the University of Córdoba (for Early Years students) in this context since 2004/2005. We are introducing a research-action on a innovative teaching experience whose purpose is to modify the traditional system of evaluation through the incorporation of the Portfolio (Klenowsky, 2005) and the rubrics as tools that allow us to make a continuous evaluation of the teaching-learning process, to offer a constant feedback to the student so that they learn their strengths and the mechanisms of improvement, at the same time that they can value the quality of the tasks and activities we propose.
Biggs, J. (2006). Calidad del aprendizaje universitario. Madrid: Narcea.
Delors, J. (1996). La educación encierra un tesoro. UNESCO Report to the International Board on Education for the 21st Century. UNESCO.
Díez Arcos, P. (2007). La evaluación como instrumento de aprendizaje: técnicas y estrategias. Madrid: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Subdirección General de Información y Publicaciones.
House, E. R. (1997). Evaluación, ética y poder. Madrid: Morata.
Klenowsky, V. (2005). Desarrollo de portafolios para el aprendizaje y la evaluación: procesos y principios. Madrid: Narcea.
Romero, P. (2008). La evaluación institucional en el contexto universitario: una exigencia de calidad. Huelva: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Huelva.