Universidad de León (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 1261-1271
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Pursuant to current regulations, the Verification Reports on the Degrees delivered by the Faculty of Education at the University of León specify the need for students preparing their Final Year Project to deploy a wide range of general and specific competencies. Eighteen of these consist of generic competencies that all students must master in order to successfully complete their academic education and start their professional life. These generic competencies are transversal because they are necessary in different contexts. They also facilitate the development of higher levels of intellectual thought processes. Consequently, they are all multi-dimensional, in the sense that their acquisition requires their integration into ways of thinking, feeling and acting in all areas of personal or social life.

Generic or transversal competencies have been the subject of numerous studies aimed at their classification. One of the most well-known and widely-used classifications is the one developed in the Tuning Project, which divides these competencies into three types: instrumental, interpersonal and systemic competencies.

One of the aims of our study was to determine whether the generic competencies addressed in our centre were grouped into these categories and whether consensus existed with other studies regarding the typology of competencies. We also aimed to determine the extent to which students' perceptions of competencies are determined by participation or not in work experience, and the extent to which this influences the mark awarded for the Final Year Project.

Data were collected by means of a survey that asked students about their perceptions of their level of acquisition of generic competencies. The survey used a 5-point Likert scale and was completed by a total of 225 fourth-year students studying degrees in Primary Education, Pre-School Education, Social Education and the Degree Conversion Course.

An exploratory factor analysis of the data was performed using the SPSS software package, version 21.

We discuss the grouping of the eighteen generic competencies analysed into three factors or groups that are conceptually coherent with those reported by other authors, which we have called cognitive competencies, instrumental competencies and interpersonal skills competencies, and which more or less correspond to the classifications reported in the literature on the subject.

Lastly, we describe the differences found between these competence classifications according to various variables (sex, compatibility of work and study, degree studied and marks awarded for the Final Year Project, for both written work and oral presentation).
Generic competencies, Final Year Project, perception of competence acquisition, factor analysis.