Effective Evaluation of the Non-Technical Skills in the Computing Discipline

Maurice m Danaher, Kevin Schoepp, Ashely Ater Kranov
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 18  •  2019  •  pp. 001-018

Assessing non-technical skills is very difficult and current approaches typically assess the skills separately. There is a need for better quality assessment of these skills at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

A method has been developed for the computing discipline that assesses all six non-technical skills prescribed by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), the accreditation board for engineering and technology. It has been shown to be a valid and reliable method for undergraduate students

The method is based upon performance-based assessment where a team of students discuss and analyze an ill-defined authentic issue over a 12-day period on a discussion board

This is the first published method to assess all six skills simultaneously in computing and here it has been trialed with postgraduate students.

The results show that the method, though originally designed for undergraduates, can successfully be used with postgraduate students. Additionally, the postgraduate students found it to be very beneficial to their learning.

This method can successfully assess non-technical skills at tertiary level in the computing discipline and it can be adapted to other disciplines. Though designed for assessment it has been found to be an ideal method for teaching the skills at both undergraduate and post graduate levels.

Compared with other assessment approaches this method has many advantages: it is a direct method of measurement, it is a rigorous method and it assesses all skills simultaneously

Proficiency in non-technical skills is critical for development of knowledge-based economies. This method is a tool to assist in developing these skills.

Researchers can examine how the method benefits students in their context and examine if there are differences between their context and the UAE context presented here. Researchers can work on developing a rubric solely for postgraduate use i.e., to capture the range of levels among postgraduates.

computing education, learning outcomes, employability, transferable skills, assessment
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