Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 3879-3888
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.1083
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Since the academic 2012-2013 year the author teaches a practically-oriented compulsory subject “Informatics” (Information and Communication Technologies – ICT) to first year undergraduate bachelor students in “Medical Rehabilitation and Ergotherapy” (MRE) at the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (SU), Sofia, Bulgaria. The MRE is a four year university bachelor programme.

The MRE curriculum stipulates Informatics as a practical subject of 30 study hours, aimed at provision of the necessary ICT skills to the first year students, needed for their academic study and prospective professional realisation. The subject is taught in the first semester of the first year. The role of the Informatics subject in the MRE curriculum is to recall and update the ICT skills of the students that they studied in school, so as these skills to be usable for the physiotherapy study and profession. Thus, the subject poses a challenge to the teacher with regards to its usability, attractiveness, and motivation for the students.

The course is designed in a context-based and project-oriented manner. It is developed around a context-case scenario for preparing and running by the students of their own private physiotherapy enterprises. The project case is named “Plan to an investor” for financing a physiotherapy centre, and is envisaged to be the final assignment for the course. The students work in teams of 2 to 4 persons for their final assignments. The assignment task for the plan is designed to include textual/descriptive part, graphical part, and budget calculation part, and to be presented to prospective investors with an appropriate computer presentation. The final course grades are formed on the base of the weekly assignments (50%), and final course assignment plus its presentation and defence (50%). In addition to the mastered ICT skills the students are taught implicitly and acquire some basic business planning and entrepreneurial skills with respect to their profession. The interest and motivation for work among the students prove to be very high, as reflected in their high quality investment plans.

The course quality is evaluated against four sets of criteria for the final assignment – Writing and Word-processing skills (9 criteria), Spreadsheet and Budgeting skills (9 criteria), Presentation and Communication skills (9 criteria), and Business planning and Entrepreneurship skills (9 criteria). More than 50 student teams’ final projects are assessed on the base of these four sets of criteria.
From an other side, as a response to the challenge of 21st century skills needed for citizens, the European Commission considered and announced Eight Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. Different sets of sub-competences and criteria were developed for particular of the eight key competences, including for the Digital competence and Entrepreneurship competence.

The research goal of the paper is threefold:
(1) to analyse the correspondence between the course evaluation criteria and the appropriate parts of the European key competences,
(2) to evaluate, on this base, the acquisition by the course students of particular (parts of) the European key competences, and
(3) to outline ways for improvement of the course design, delivery, and evaluation so as to cover a broader set of the European key competences.
European key competences, competence evaluation, Physiotherapy, Digital skills, Entrepreneurship skills.