Gibbings, Peter and Brodie, Lyn (2006) Skills audit and competency assessment for engineering problem solving courses. In: Engineering Education 2006 (EE2006), 24-26 July 2006, Liverpool, UK.
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This paper describes a strategy for auditing existing skill levels, and assessing achievement of course objectives, by students enrolled in Engineering Problem Based Learning (PBL) courses. Our method involves initial auditing of existing skills and competence of each student, and continual assessment to monitor progress. The initial skill assessment will facilitate the effective allocation of students with different levels of skill in various discipline areas, into well balanced teams. This balance will facilitate effective mentoring within the teams and, because improvement by individuals and the team collectively will be formally assessed, mentoring within the teams will be encouraged. The formal assessment of objectives will be tailored to individual student’s existing skill levels. The emphasis will be on advancement of skills and competence rather than simply achieving a minimum standard. This novel strategy will provide the flexibility for equitable assessment of students with different initial skill and competency levels; particularly relevant to students studying in the distance mode who may have considerable professional experience and advanced skills and competence. By tracking progress towards the achievement of objectives, students can be provided with an individual portfolio of achievements through the suite of PBL courses.
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