The 21st Century Skills in Higher Education


To increase the employability of baccalaureate graduates, tertiary education must include what are known as professional or 21st century skills. While academic programs worldwide strive to develop a solid professional skills base in students, these skills are notoriously difficult to teach and assess. In 2014, Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) began a collaboration with the developer of the US National Science Foundation backed and American Society of Engineering Education’s award winning Engineering Professional Skills Assessment (EPSA) to modify the method from engineering to computing and the UAE context. Funded by the Zayed University Research Incentive Fund, this two-year project has led to the development of a method known as the Computing Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA). The CPSA consists essentially of a scenario, a student discussion of the scenario, and a rubric to grade the discussion. The research project involved creating scenarios suitable to the field of computing and the region, developing a rubric including establishing validity and reliability, and developing an implementation method. The CPSA is the first method in the literature to measure all six of the computing professional skills prescribed by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and technology) simultaneously.

Author Information
Maurice Danaher, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
Kevin Schoepp, Jumeira University, United Arab Emirates
Ashley Ater Kranov, Washington State University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICEDubai2017
Stream: Digital technologies and communications

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon