Project Teams

One of the most essential soft skills is teamwork. Pear provides a non-standardize assessment tool to personalize each evaluation within the parameters of each project team.

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Going Beyond Technical Skills

The dynamics of a new global economy require new college graduates to have not only excellent technical foundations but also strong professional skills. As a response, academic programs have integrated professional skills into their curricula or courses; however, there are challenges in the assessment of learning outcomes related to professional skills. Difficulties include defining measurable learning outcomes and lack of uniform assessment models which provide guidance at different stages of students’ progress, and challenges of integrating assessment instruments based on different models into an overall program assessment plan.

Specific Professional Skills

Global Awareness, Ethics, Teamwork, Creative Problem SolvingThese professional skills are the common denominator of the STEM disciples. Academic programs have integrated professional skills such as teamwork/communication, ethics, global awareness, creative problem solving, and leadership, into their curricula or courses. However, there are challenges in the assessment of learning outcomes related to professional skills, such as difficulty in defining measurable learning outcomes, lack of uniform assessment models which provide guidance at different stages of students’ progress, and challenges of integrating assessment instruments based on different models into an overall program assessment plan.

Model of Domain Learning (MDL)

This project puts forward a multi-disciplinary effort to design and test a uniform assessment model and instruments based on Alexander’s Model of Domain Learning (MDL) (1994) to assess these professional skills. The MDL is selected as the theoretical framework for an assessment model because its validity of predicting the stages of student development has been tested in many different technical and non-technical domains, and it lends itself to a longitudinal development model. In addition, the MDL also has the potential to provide insight into what might undermine the effectiveness of programs attempting to improve students’ professional skills.