Curriculum Development through Competency-Based Approach in Higher Education

Curriculum Development through Competency-Based Approach in Higher Education

Elena Cano (University of Barcelona, Spain) and Georgeta Ion (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4458-8.ch005


The purpose of this chapter is to present existing research about competency-based approach curricula and its implications on the higher education system. At first, a broad European framework about harmonization and lifelong learning is presented. Second, competence-based learning is explored and its consequences on interdisciplinary and authentic learning situations are analyzed. Finally, some challenges for higher education institutions are presented with the ways in which some of these institutions are resolving them.
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Content of this chapter:

  • A glance on transnational strategies for higher education

  • An analysis of the challenges and effects that competency-based training designs have on higher education management

  • Proposals for new policies of higher education institutions.


Opportunities And Limitations Of Ehea

The European Higher Education Area comes at a time of deep economic and social crisis. A new world order in which, more than ever, the most important asset of any organization is human capital can be imagined. Access to knowledge not as an initial training period but as permanent commitment to stay current and to access certain occupancy levels will be essential. That's why universities should provide adequate training programs to different profiles of students and citizens. In this line the challenge of providing individualized itineraries and multiple monitoring systems courses in various modalities could be proposed (the MOOCs are a good example of this diversification and extension of the university offer, looking strategically position). That is, the university should pursue the formation of citizens and qualified professionals, knowing that the added value that university grants continues to carry on the wage differential.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Stakeholders: Individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, or other entities having a material interest, concern, or stake in a particular action, decision, or proposed measure (ERIC Thesaurus).

Authentic Learning: Authentic learning typically focuses on real-world, complex problems and their solutions, using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice (Marilyn M. Lombardi, 2007, Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview).

Certification: Refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit. Accreditation is a specific organization’s process of certification (Wikipedia).

MOOCs (Massive On Line Open Courses): Is a type of online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the webWeb. MOOCs are a recent development in the area of distance education, and a progression of the kind of open education ideals suggested by open educational resources (Wikipedia).

Higher Education: All education beyond the secondary level leading to a formal degree (ERIC Thesaurus).

Competence Competence-Based Curricula: A framework or guide for the detailed development of competencies, associated methodologies, training and assessment resources. It specifies the outcomes which are consistent with the requirements of the workplace as agreed through the industry and community consultations.

Blended Learning: Variable construct describing approaches to teaching and learning that integrate, in a significant and meaningful way, more than one technique for delivering instruction. Widely associated with combinations of face-to-face and e-learning teaching methods, blended learning may also refer to other mixtures (e.g., individual and group instruction; self-paced instruction and lecture method). (ERIC Thesaurus).

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