“The purpose of this competences-based learning is to have competent citizens in their profession which is what will allow us to adapt to this society of knowledge that progresses and changes swiftly and where information and data are available for all in one single click” explains in this article Rosa García Bellido”, Vice-Chancellor of the Degrees of Education at Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera.
In her opinion, universities should change from a knowledge transmission model to another different one teaching students how to use such knowledge or, in other words, to acquire the skills required by our new reality.
“It is not possible to form, and I put as example a specific university degree, a teacher mastering theory and not knowing how to face a real class” she says. It is necessary to go beyond the acquisition of knowledge, it is about knowing how to apply them, learning by skills”.
“The profile sought by companies is that of a professional with great capacity to adapt to changes, with skills developed to learn to learn, with critical thinking, reflective, open to innovation as well as all other necessary skills for the development of their duties” continues the expert.
And without doubt the key to all of them is the capacity to continue learning, the ability to learn to learn because in some years there will be new professions and it will be necessary to adapt to such changes. “If you know how to access knowledge and especially to manage it, it will be easier to adapt” outlines Rosa García Bellido.
“Learning by competences as promoted by Bolonia should not be a mere chimera” declares. “On the contrary, this process is a very good opportunity for Universities to break with a model that has become obsolete”.
“Some have taken seriously the work by competences because they assume that this is the reality to be faced and start seeing in classes a change in students which makes teachers consider new teaching methodologies” asserts García. “However, the teacher acknowledges that many universities find it difficult to leave their comfort zone and resist to change the teaching model”.
However choosing teaching by competences does not involve giving up master classes, clarifies García: “Of course they are necessary but just as a more practical part where all students understand the use of these knowledge and especially learn to apply them in a professional scenario”:
Once this necessary change is decided Rosa García Bellido asserts “we can opt for different methodologies that can help us in the development of the skills of our students”.
“Obviously it is necessary to implement in a systematic manner in all subjects, competences-based learning but also cooperative learning and learning based on case studies, projects or challenges” says the teacher. “All of them are methods which encourage students to activate their knowledge and seek new strategies to achieve goals. On the other hand, they involve many lessons at the same time, both individually and cooperatively” says the teacher.
The assessment methodology is also important. The assessment of skills which become closer to professional reality because they offer scenarios of the profession.
CEU Universities reinforce this systematic method with the Program to Educate in Transforming Competences. The different modules of this education, complementary to some CEU masters, the professional future works concepts such as self-knowledge, team work, communication, entrepreneurship, persuasion, capacity to innovate or solidarity within the group.