CompAssess Project

Assessment of student competences with emphasis on the development of competences

Description of the project

With the main objective to contribute to the EU objectives in this field, the CompAssess project will firstly, establish a European network integrated by recognized organizations that already count with solid basis in the field of transversal competences and have made achievements in assessment methodologies, in order to share best practice experiences in such areas; secondly, the partnership will identify best practice cases in order to proposed assessment methodologies or tools able to be implemented at European level in the VET system; thirdly, it will develop implementation and assessment plans; and finally, the consortium will present new proposals and recommendations about methodologies and tools for competence assessment to education authorities to promote their implementation in the European VET System.

The partnership will define a strategy for the establishment and operation of the Network, the best practice cases and definition of methodologies will be carried out through four workshops that will allow the interaction among the partners. Based on the results of the workshops, best practice papers will be drafted, which are crucial for the recommendations for EU policy makers dealing with the VET system. A final event will be held in Spain to present the project outcomes and the establishment of the Network.

Goals of the project

  • The main project goal is the creation of a European network for international cooperation to share best practices cases in the field of competence assessment in a competence-based training model.
  • The project will determine the current situation in the participant countries concerning competence assessment practices and/or tools, define best practices, design implementation plans, and implementation of assessment practices and tools in the VET organizations participating in the project.
  • The project also foresees the development of new proposals and recommendations about methodologies and tools for competence assessment (For Policy makers and training agents).
  • The CompAssess project will directly contribute to foster the assessment of transversal skills and promote the take-up of practical entrepreneurial experiences in education, training and youth work, in line with the annual Work Programme adopted by the Commission.

Transnational Meetings

Kick off meeting San Sebastian Tknika
1. Estate of the art Aalborg Uni Aalborg
2. Identification of best practices Bolzano Uni Bolzano
3. Implementation of best practices Portugal SPI
4. Assessment of best practices San Sebastian Tknika
Multiplier event San Sebastian Tknika

Kick off meeting

Location: San Sebastian | Date: June 2015 | Host: Tknika

In mid-June, partners held the Kick-off meeting of CompAssess project. The project will be developed over 2015 and 2016 and aims to create a European network of organizations interested on promoting competences-based learning, with emphasis on implementation of active-collaborative learning methodologies.

Just at the time of the celebration of its 10th anniversary, the project coordinator, Tknika, welcomed the project partners: SPI (Portugal) Aalborg University and EUC-SYD (Denmark) Tangram and Libera Universitá di Bolzano (Italy) Mondragon Unibersitatea (Spain) and NRC (Ireland).

At this first meeting, the partners focused on defining the objectives, strategies and activities of the network that they want to create, and on planning actions to be developed along the next few months, basically the gathering of models and existing materials about competences-based learning.

Another important point was the definition of the learning model that they would like to promote. It was a good opportunity to meet and exchange views on approaches for tackling the implementation of new learning methodologies.

The documents and the minutes of the meeting that register partners’ decisions remain as drafts, waiting for further inputs till final approval at the next meeting in Aalborg, Denmark.

1. Estate of art

Location: Aalborg | Date: October 2015 | Host: Uni Aalborg

On 2nd transnational meeting of the CompAssess project partners was held in October in Aalborg, Denmark, we focused on reviewing the approach from which the universities, members of the project, are elaborating a Reference of Key Resources Report – Output 2. So, Aalborg University explained the 5 key issues of the report to us:

  • From education to learning organization.
  • From being producers of knowledge to be facilitators of learning abilities.
  • From qualifications to competences.
  • From the assessment of learning to assessment for learning.
  • From learning inputs to learning outcomes.

The targets were set, some provisional sections and contents were presented and we raised some doubts which were later discussed in groups.

Lone Krog, from Aalborg University, came up with a vision of Competences Assessment analyzed from the perspective of the Problem-based Learning. Tknika, EUC SYD and Northern Regional College also had the opportunity to present some experiences on Competences Assessment.

Finally, Libera Unibersitá de Bolzano introduced the objectives of WP03 – To identify Best Practices: To define BP considering the results of WP02. To identify BP on Transversal Competence Assessment across the EU. To share BP and to write a paper on BP identification.

2. Identification of best practices

Location: Bolzano | Date: February 2016 | Host: Universy of Bolzano and Tangram

This third meeting of the Project was held in Bolzano – Bozen, in the north of Italy.

After the welcoming and the presentation by Kenneth Molberg of the research done about Output 2 Reference Guide for the Assessment of Transversal Competences of the project, we approved the report on the State of Art written by University of Aalborg in collaboration with the other three universities.

Later on, with the monitoring of Federica Viganó, we reflected on several aspects regarding the transition between Workpackage 02 and Workpackage 03 along with the methodology used to work on the best practices and the elaboration of the CompAssess Open Framework.

Martino Serapioni informed us about the Best practices selected for our project and about the characteristics of the Open Framework. Competence-base learning and assessment and, a crucial point, the quality of the assessment were topics revised by Martino in his presentation.

Regarding Workpaskage 04, Alex Bucciol brought the reflection to the critical factors and opportunities on implementing the Open Framework and he suggested the process to do it to the partners involved in the piloting.

We organised a workshop to discuss by groups on the Open Framework and on the approaches to do the pilotings after Alex´s suggestions. Our considerations were collected by Tangram in order to be analysed at the time of doing a first revision of the Open Framework.

3. Implementation of best practices

Location: Porto | Date: May 2016 | Host: SPI – Sociedade Portuguesa de Innovaçao

The fourth meeting of CompAssess was held at the headquarters of SPI in Porto. After the initial tasks, we spent some time trying to link the initial proposal of the project with the learning from the research done by Aalborg University in WP02 and the results of the best practices gathered by University of Bolzano in WP03.

A relevant issue of this meeting in Porto was to evaluate the piloting actions of the implementation of the best practices, based on the evaluation made by the CompAssess partners themselves on-line. This assessment was mainly focused on the characteristics of the CompAssess Open Framework, its advantages and disadvantages.

The results of the best practices assessment were explained by SPI, responsible of WP05. In this case the evaluation focused on the method, the process and the plan of implementation which had been previously assessed by NRC, EUC-SYD and Tknika on-line.

As the final workpackage of the project will deal with the proposals and recommendations for policy makers on transversal competences assessment, we defined the main topics to frame CompAssess partners’ recommendations.

4. Recommendations for policy makers

Location: San Sebastian | Date: November 2016 | Host: Tknika

On November 25th members of CompAssess met at Tknika for the project final meeting. To start with, we made a reflexion about the Multiplier Event of the previous day. Later on, we reviewed the list of new members of CompAssess Network and encourage partners to keep on looking for new members. We checked the existing draft of the CompAssess Open Framework and suggested some improvements for the final version.

We also went over the Best Practices detected and already uploaded to the web of the project, which we considered as an interesting option for disseminating good practices on the field of competences assessment.

Before the final remarks about the Quality Management matters, the coming reporting needs and the financial aspects of the project, we paid special attention to the convenience of insisting on the dissemination activities and to analyse the report, elaborated by MU partners, on Recommendations for policy makers.

The final part of the meeting was focused on the possibility of preparing a new European project which would be called Learning Dialogues, somehow a step further on the research of new learning methodologies and the continuation of CompAssess project. There was full agreement on that point.


Location: San Sebastian | Date: November 2016 | Host: Tknika

The conference was moderated by Paola Valero, Aalborg University.

After the registration of participants at the Hall of Tknika, Jose Luis Fdz. Maure, the Director of the Internationalization Area gave attendants a warmly welcome and introduced Mr. Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, to them.

Víctor Arias and Joxerra Gómez, from Tknika, acting as CompAssess Project Coordinators introduced attendees to the main objectives, partners, activities and expected results of the project. Recalling that the event had previously been registered into the European Skills Week.

Mr. Shyamal Majumdar spoke briefly about the role of UNESCO-UNEVOC in the field of Vocational Education and Training around the world. Their intention seems to be to open a new UNEVOC centre somewhere in Europe. He encouraged CompAssess partners to continue with the research and the initiatives on Competences based Learning and Assessment, as she liked the approach detailed previously by the coordinators.

Kenneth Mølbjerg, presented an interesting paper on “Competences, Learning to Learn and Assessment in Vocational Education and Training”, as a further contribution to workpackage 02. The paper was divided in several parts:

  • Introduction
  • Discursive practices on Competences and Learning to Learn.
  • A Practice-based Perspective on Competences and Learning to Learn.
  • Practices of rationality
  • Socio-cultural practices
  • Practices of language
  • Practices of storytelling
  • Implications of a practice-based perspective on vocational Education and Training
  • Assessment of Competences
  • References

Later on, the keynote speaker, Nagore Ipiña, from Mondragon Unibertsitatea, talked about “Current Challenges for implementing the competence-based learning and assessment”

The Panel Discussion focused on the State of Art in the Field of Competences Assessment and Best Practices detected. The process followed for elaborating the CompAssess Open Framework.

Kenneth Mølbjerg, Aalborg University, and Federica Viganó, Libera Unibersitá di Bolzano, answered the questions made by Paola and some of the attendees regarding the topic selected. A document with the CompAssess Open Framework has been printed and handled over to attendees previously. 

After the coffee break, Federica explained in detail the main characteristics of the CompAssess Open Framework: 

  • Summary
  • Introduction to the model
  • Description of the framework
  • Context
  • Implementation Process
  • Final considerations
  • Annexes

After that, Nestor Arana, Mondragon Unibertsitatea, explained his initial approach for the elaboration of the Final Proposals and Recommendations for Policy Makers. Their initial thought, as depicted in a PowerPoint used for support, is divided in several sections:

    • Legal framework
    • Practical Assessment Framework
    • Complexity
    • Assessment for learning
    • Teachers’ role
    • Students’ role
    • Use of ICTs
    • Real working environment
    • Change process

Víctor Arias and Joxerra Gómez, Tknika, as CompAssess Project Coordinators presented the Conclusions of the Conference.

Their comments were based on the idea of what to do next, after the end of this project. They reviewed the main lessons learnt along the lifetime of the project, mainly the knowledge regarding: the Assessment process and the Learning practices.

Based on such knowledge, a set of skills has also been acquired along this project development. And these skills have helped partners to acquire several competences. Just the type of competences described in the Competences Open Framework and which have meant a process of learning to learn on a wide variety of aspect linked to Competences-based Learning and Assessment initiatives, which finally has turned us into competent partners for addressing coming challenges on the process of implementing Competences-based Learning and Assessment.

The Final Conference finished with a lunch organised for CompAssess partners, speakers and attendees to the conference.

Tknika, 01 December 2016

CompAssess Coordinators