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E. Shoikova, V. Denishev

Technical University - Sofia (BULGARIA)
This paper provides an overview of existing modeling specifications and describes our modeling approach for competencies. Modeling competences is an integral part of many Learning-Education-Training Systems related activities. Some initiatives, such as the IEEE Reusable Competency Definition (IEEE RCD, 2005) and HR-XML (HR-XML, 2004), have done initial steps to define common models and schemas for interoperability, but their current work lacks some important information that is required for competence matching, like proficiency levels, context or mechanisms for increasing reusability. The SCORM 2.0 Project ran by IEEE Learning-Education-Training Systems Interoperability (LETSI) from July 2008 through January 2009 is going to address the problem of competency portability. Competency encompasses everything from skills and knowledge to learning objectives and outcomes, and competency portability includes portability of the results that relate to competency.
Impact on education: In education, competency portability is an old problem – that of articulating courses among multiple institutions. At a deeper level, it is also the transfer problem. Students often attend multiple institutions, sometimes simultaneously. That points to need for competency portability. Students learn a concept in one context and do not recognize the same concept in another context. Tracking the results of lifelong education and validating degrees from different universities makes competency portability far more important than content portability for educational systems.
Impact on learning: There is no reason to develop competency‐based, adaptive learning strategies if the only source of information about a learner’s competency is the content itself.
Impact on training: Learning Management Systems measure outcomes and perform skill gap analyses. Many roll these up into Business Intelligence reports. But the competencies they use are localized to the system. Keeping these updated is a costly process, and the content delivered by the systems is only matched to the competencies by approximation. This approach is not likely to produce much valid data on training effectiveness.
Impact on Content: Content is still the biggest part of the Learning-Education-Training industry. The ability to develop content independently of a delivery system is wonderful, but for that to work at anything but the most basic level, the content development process and the delivery system need to track the same competencies.