COMPETENCY- BASED CURRICULUM DESIGN ON THE EXAMPLE OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION
Lodz Univeristy of Technology, The State School of Higher Professional Education in Elbląg (POLAND)
Competency- Based Curriculum Design has become one of the priorities of the development of education policy both in Poland and all over Europe. Recognizing the high responsibility placed on technical teachers in social development, we must embark upon urgent improvements in engineering education and technology and curriculum design. Improvements are needs in technology education in order to continue to solidify the roles of vocational and technical teachers in the society. Educators, employers, and practitioners should demand better integration professional perspective with the concepts of pedagogy and instructional practice throughout the competency-based curriculum.
Universities are going to perform a substantial role in this process having to take into account flexibility of curriculum design developed mostly within level 6 and 7 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
Subject and scope of the research:
The main research problem, which was confronted as part of the project, was to solve the issue of the identification of the learning outcomes in professional competences. Unfortunately the system which defines learning outcomes acquired formally is imperfect, to say the least. It focuses mainly on the teacher’s perspective and often allows practical skills to be dominated by the amount of theoretical knowledge given to the student. Such presentation of learning outcomes means that it is extremely difficult to compare professional competences with learning outcomes defined for the particular course.
The project demonstrated the usefulness of competency-based learning outcomes, as a bridge between learning outcomes and acquired professional competences in the performance of professional ( engineering) tasks .
The project identified also "bottleneck" areas of the present higher education system, limiting the full implementation of the competency-based educational system. The main problems included rigid, teacher-oriented methods of education and verification criteria for learning outcomes, based in many cases on checking the facts and figures learnt by heart.
All issued related to the competency-based curriculum discussed in the article have a very strong influence on the process of integration of professional activities into the curriculum with the view of supporting lifelong learning. The presented solution may be a clue to other universities how to implement flexible systems of education and LLL in accordance with the mission and strategy of the university.