About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Page: 3371
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Quality management of higher education aims primarily at identifying successful learning and teaching practices. Outcome orientation focuses on competency gains of the students rather than on curriculum design by the professor. Methods and tools to evaluate students‘ competency development are required.
This paper describes the methods applied at an English Master Program in industrial engineering at the Technical University Berlin in Germany. It describes the design and the realization of the evaluation process and gives an outlook on competence evaluation in engineering education. Difficulties and limitations in the process and in the analysis of data will be pointed out.
Competence evaluation is conducted at the English Master Program “Global Production Engineering” ( at the TU Berlin. The students are selected from a world-wide pool of applicants with a diverse set of competencies. The evaluation approach is based on the ACQA-Methodology (Academic Competencies and Quality Assurance) developed at the Eindhoven University of Technical in the Netherlands. The methodology was adapted to the needs of the TU Berlin and consequently the German university system by the project “QualitätsSicherung Studienprogramme” (QS²) of the TU Berlin ( From these two sources a customized approach for the Master Program “Global Production Engineering” was refined. The areas of competencies are: professional competence, scientific approach, method competence, intellectual competence, communication skills and strategic and social skills.
The evaluation takes place at different stages of the educational and the professional life of the students and alumni. It is conducted at the beginning and the end of the program and 5 years thereafter by using standardized paper, online questionnaires, or an interview. The evaluation is made anonymous but relatable. The data enables to track the development of competencies and the assessment of their value throughout the educational and professional career of the students and alumni. The evaluation data also gives an overview about the competencies of each intake and allows comparison. The evaluation of the alumni gives valuable insight into the required competencies in a working environment and which of those were acquired during the Master Program. The data shows:
• Competencies of the students at the beginning of the program,
• Competencies of the students at the end of the program,
• Freshmen assessment of values of modules and expectations from modules,
• Graduates assessment of competence gained during the study,
• Alumni assessment of the relevance of certain competencies.
In the future it is planned to broaden this approach by questioning employers to find out their competence requirements for GPE graduates.