Competences and learning outcomes Raimonda Markeviciene
What are learning outcomes? Learning outcomes are an explicit description of what a learner should know, understand and be able to do as a result of learning. (Learning and Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University) Learning Outcomes are specific statements of what students should know and be able to do as a result of learning (Morss and Murray, 2005) Learning outcomes are statements of what is expected that a student will be able to DO as a result of a learning activity….(Jenkins and Unwin). “Learning outcomes are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity. Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills or attitudes”. (American Association of Law Libraries). Learning outcomes are explicit statements of what we want our students to know, understand or to be able to do as a result of completing our courses. (Univ. New South Wales, Australia)
Learning outcomes are statements of what a student should know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning Across various systems and different countries Formal , informal experiential and lifelong learning
Competence - what does it mean? It is difficult to find a precise definition. “There is such confusion and debate concerning the concept of ‘competence’ that it is impossible to identify or impute a coherent theory or to arrive at a definition capable of accommodating and reconciling all the different ways that the term is used. (Winterton et al., 2005)
“A competency is more than just knowledge and skills. It involves the ability to meet complex demands, by drawing on and mobilising psychosocial resources (including skills and attitudes) in a particular context.” “For example, the ability to communicate effectively is a competency that may draw on an individual’s knowledge of language, practical IT skills and attitudes towards those with whom he or she is communicating.” (OECD) 6
“The relationship between learning outcomes and competences is a complex area – the subject of some debate and no little confusion”. (Adam, 2004)
Competences in Nursing – types of competences (Miller et al) Narrow view: equate competence with performance, i.e. the ability to perform nursing tasks. Broader view: competence in terms the ability of the nurse to integrate cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills when delivering nursing care.
Tuning Project Tuning Educational Structures in Europe was initiated in 2000. In this project, the term competence is defined as follows: “Competences represent a dynamic combination of knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities. Fostering competences is the object of educational programmes. Competences are formed in various course units and assessed at different stages”. 9
Academic area vs. professional area and competences From Project to Process Competence Circle Employment profile Academic field Academic field Academic field
Examples of Generic Competences Communication Creative thinking Critical thinking Cultural Appreciation Emotional Intelligence and Psychological wellness. Entrepreneurship Global outlook Healthy lifestyle Interpersonal Effectiveness Leadership Life-Long Learning Problem Solving Social and National Responsibility Teamwork SAARD (Self-Assessment of All-Round Development Questionnaire Research project identified 14 generic competencies:
What are Generic Competences? Generic competencies are transferable multifunctional knowledge, skills and attitudes that people could learn and develop in different ways and learning environments and apply across a variety of job and life contexts. (Fung et al)
Tuning Project - generic and subject specific competences Tree types of generic competences: • Instrumental competences: cognitive abilities, methodological abilities, technological abilities and linguistic abilities. • Interpersonal competences: individual abilities like social skills (social interaction and co-operation). • Systemic competences: abilities and skills concerning whole systems (combination of understanding, sensibility and knowledge; prior acquisition of instrumental and interpersonal competences required)
6 • Capacity for organisation • and planning 5 • Teamwork 4 • Ability to work autonomously 4 • Information management skills 3 • Concern for quality 3 • Capacity to adapt to new situations 2 • Capacity for applying knowledge in practice 1 Problem solving 1 • Capacity to learn 1 • Capacity for analysis and synthesis Results Combined ranking: First ten competences Comparing Graduates and Employers Instrumental Interpersonal Systemic
18 Understanding of cultures and customs of other countries 17 Appreciation of diversity and multiculturality 16 Ability to work in an international context Results Comparing Graduates and Employers Combined ranking: Last three competences Instrumental Interpersonal Systemic
Document analysis (Lithuanian case) Research expert group Review and finalisation of the list of the competences List of documents to be analysed Researchers of the professional field Preparation of primary list of competences Representatives of subject area Representatives of subject area Public Health: primary list of competences: 98 competences (items) finalised list of competences: 18 competences
Differences in evaluation of the importance of generic and subject specific competences among different subject areas?(Lithuanian case)
Research results: Public Health (Lithuanian case) Graduates (professional bachelors, bachelors and masters): Most of respondents have been employed during their studies; Positive assessment of the study programme – a profound basis for further professional development; Employers of expect “experienced“ employees, able to adapt immediately to the specific requirements, with high level of practical skills that is identified as main disadvantage of the studies); Employers expect Master’s degree; At the workplace specialisation, specific skills are obtained (depends on the institution, laboratory).
Suggestions for the Public Health programmes’ improvement (Lithuanian case) • EMPOYERS: • To distinguish the development of Bachelors’ and Masters’ level competences; • To deepen knowledge of professional foreign language (professional terminology); • To improve quality of studies regarding different subjects (the quality of work of the professors, departments’ staff).
Competences and Learning Outcomes confused Bachelor of History - Generic competence LO
Relation between Competences and LO in study cycles (subject area of social work) (Lithuanian case)
Finally…in the programme Competence: • The student should be able to use the mass and energy balances for a given food process. Objectives: • Understand scope of mass balances in food processing systems. • Understand appropriate use of mole fractions and mass fractions in mass balances Learning outcomes: • Describe the general principles of mass balances in steady state systems. • Draw and use process flow diagrams with labels on flow streams for mass balance problems. • Solve mass balance problems associated with food processing operations. • Design and solve mass balances for complex process flow systems, including batch mixing problems, multiple stage flow problems, problems with multiple inflows and outflows, recycle streams and multiple components, and processes where chemical reactions take place. Hartel and Foegeding (2004)