Turku University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 526-531
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Changing societies call for changes in competencies of employees. One of the important tasks in the changing world and requirements is to make it possible to monitor the change and present methods used in the universities so that present students are educated to be future innovative professionals and employees. In their future professions they have to able to participate in the development of working life processes in an innovation enhancing way. This also calls for finding new ways to bring research and teaching and learning closer. We have to explore the most efficient methods when aiming to the desired results.
Education in different universities in Europe becomes crucial when wanting to achieve any kind of changes. Students graduating from any European university should possess such kind of knowledge, skills and attitudes that they can contribute to the creation of the best knowledge economy in the world. The aim can only be reached by making sure that the graduating students are able to participate in different innovation processes in their future working life positions and bring added value to these processes. Organizations aim to create innovations and need employees who possess these competencies essential for enabling them to participate in the different innovation processes of their organization. These competencies can be called innovation competencies, and they can be related to individual, organisational or networking competencies. The European way of building curricula is competence based. However, there is no or very little information available about the innovation competencies in the literature. We need reliable information about the key competence areas leading to innovative professional knowledge. It becomes essential to find the innovation competencies which will be made as one of the aims for any educational processes.
The key question is to define the innovation competencies and a measuring tool for assessing them. This is encouraged from several initiatives; e.g. European Qualifications Framework EQF aims to compare the general competencies generated by higher education learning outcomes. Also the on-going Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) process, a recent global initiative led by OECD will need data on the relevance and quality of teaching and learning in higher education. AHELO will test what students in higher education know and can do upon graduation but the measurement tools are not yet defined. Thus, there is a clear need to be able to assess students’ innovation competencies and here the assessment processes and criteria will play a crucial role.
The paper starts from the changes in requirements of competencies in the working life and launches the concept of innovation pedagogy, which is a pedagogical strategy supporting the creation of innovations. After that the concept of innovation competencies as well as the need of their assessment is discussed. We proceed to explore the planning of assessment processes and criteria, and to future insights in measurement of learning outcomes.
Asessment, innovation competencies, higher education, learning outcomes.