Skills, Competencies and Credentials

Alan Harrison, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, Oct 06, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The current system of courses, grades and transcripts does not serve students well, according to a recent report (24 page PDF) from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. "While the current system does an excellent job documenting students’ knowledge of content, it provides neither students nor potential employers with an overview of the skills they have developed while studying." What's interesting is that this would suggest not merely a different system for documenting aachievement, but also completely new assessment metrics. This would in turn change the objective of higher education from that of imparting knowledge to that of training for skills. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if we're going to open the door to renegotiate the purpose of universities, we need to have more options on the table, because higher education is about more than just skills and competencies.

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