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Competence assessment in higher education: A dynamic approach

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Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries

Published online on


Advances in the implementation of the European Higher Education Area have had a great impact on university environment and the process of design, evaluation, and implementation of new curricula. Identifying competence levels among students can help course organizers to improve both academic content and teaching/learning processes. The present study addresses this issue by examining the implementation of an Internet‐based competency assessment tool. We analyze the status and evolution of soft skills among students on the Official Masters program Creating and Managing Innovative Technology‐Based Companies at the University of Barcelona, using a tool known as Tricuspoid, specifically designed for evaluating entrepreneurial competences. The results show that the tool, first, enables students to identify their strong and weak points and to develop personal strategies for improvement; second, provides teachers with additional information about the effects of their input on student competences; and third, supplies useful information for quality management of the Master's programs, because it can detect trends in the training needs of new students and help to enhance content accordingly, and therefore match the design of the academic program to the requirements of labor market. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.