Everything is a Competence?

In Europe, learning outcomes are defined by competences. Competence consists of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. This is typical for School Education and practiced this way during the last decade(s).

But is it really always that easy? Are competencies always the result of a learning process?

Various Definitions

In the ESCO definition of the European Commission (European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) you will find:

“The term competence is broader and refers typically to the ability of a person – facing new situations and unforeseen challenges – to use and apply knowledge and skills in an independent and self-directed way.”

The ESCO definition of a competence looks like this:

“competence means the proven ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social and/or methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and personal development.”
Source: https://ec.europa.eu/esco/portal/escopedia/Competence

If you have a look to the ECVET Toolkit (https://www.ecvet-toolkit.eu/) you will find:

“statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on comple­tion of a learning process, and which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence”.
Source: https://www.ecvet-toolkit.eu/introduction/ecvet-and-learning-outcomes

Reading all this the question occurs: Is not competence always the same? And – are in Vocational Education and Training learning outcomes, defined as knowledge or skills, valid?

The answer is YES, and I’ll give you an example:

An Example

Type description of a tyre

The is the company “Tyre Fit” selling and fitting tyres for cars. A customer is entering the selling room and asks for winter tyres of his car. He is showing the car certification to the salesman. The salesman only must have the knowledge to classify the various parameters of the needed tyre – nothing else.

During his specific education he got the knowledge to decide which tyre will fit to which car and which parameters or regulations must be kept ensuring safe driving with this tyres.

The customer has bought the tyres and enters the workshop of the tyre reseller to get the tyres fixed on his rims. The worker there has learned how to take down the old tyre and to mount the new one. This are skills – nothing else. The worker must be able to handle the machine to disassembly the tyres from the rim and after this to mount the new ones and finally to balance the wheel.

This is an example that in specific cases competences are not versatile to be used as a description for learning outcomes, but in each case, it is necessary to analyse and evaluate how the learning outcomes can be described best. This can be simple knowledge as well as simple skills or complex competences.


Learning, Training & Teaching Event in Dublin

Learning, Training & Teaching Event in Dublin
Peter Mazohl has taken part at the learning, training & teaching event in Dublin as a trainer. The event aimed to increase the competences of the participants to create multimedia-based learning tools, to care for a well-fitting documentation and an appropriate implementation guidelines.
The event took place at the Adamstown Community College. Partners from Sweden and Spain also were present at this workshop-based training.

Science Teaching Project Meeting

Science Teaching Project Meeting

The EBI participated in the intermediate meeting of the “Science Teaching” project (from October 3 until October 4) in Umeå, Sweden.

At this meeting the first products of the project have been presented. The multimedia-based tools will supply teachers in teaching science as well as help students to get a deeper understanding of complex scientific context.


CICERO – a digital competence project!

CICERO – a digital competence project!

The project addresses three items in the field of Adult Education, which are connected to each other and tied together in this project. These items are

  • Digital competences
  • Digital photography
  • European Cultural Heritage

Rationale of the project

Digital competences must be learned by the users. This requires some motivation. Without motivation, the learning will only “scratch at the surface” and instead of well-proven competences only superficial knowledge and understanding will be the result – without any depth and sustainability.
Digital photography can be the engine to motivate people to care about basic digital competences. This will cover the creation of images (a creative work), the processing of images (a technical endeavour), the storage and administration of images (needs digital competences) and the use of the created images, for instance in social media (needs digital competences as well as basic legal knowledge).

Digital Photographyis done with smartphones as well as with high-tech DSLR cameras. It is part of our daily life!

Finally, digital photography enlarges the social contacts (for instance in special interest groups), keeps elderly people active (both in physical and mental sense) and contributes in many cases to promote cultural heritage (as objects in various images) and transnational activities (photography contest with items addressing the European Year of Cultural Heritage).

Project Aim

The project aims to develop digital competences in the group of adults using digital photography as the engine of motivation and to give an impact to social, cultural, and family life. Additional, taken pictures focusing on European Heritage are collected in a free-to-use database (contribution to the year of European Cultural Heritage 2018).

Preparation work for new projects

Preparation work for new projects

Currently the EBI is preparing a new project proposal in the frame of ERASMUS+. It’s a project focussing on flipped learning with several schools in Europe.

Peter Mazohl visited one of the future partner schools in Trujillo, Spain. He met the headmaster of the school and gave a precise description of the project.

A second school is located in Austria, near Wiener Neustadt. Peter Mazohl and Harald Makl had a meeting with the responsible teacher for the future project, Gabriele Ernst. They discussed open issued and cleared several items in the application.

The application will be submitted in March. Here are some pictures from the preparation work!

SEMIFIT Seminar for Intercultural Trainers

SEMIFIT Seminar for Intercultural Trainers

Stefanie Mayrwöger attended the SEMIFIT Seminar for intercultural trainers, on Project Design under Erasmus+, from 1st to 6th of December 2018 in Almuñécar, Spain. The week was structured in panel discussions, presentations and workshops, which were all designed and held by the participants. During the seminar all participants found themselves in different roles, such as documentarists, speakers, workshop leaders and marketers. Tools and methods were shown, projects presented, and ideas shared. The aim of the seminar was to create an open space for youth trainers, learning designers and educators to talk about difficulties, tips and ways to improve their skills in project design and management of (inter)national projects.

Here is a video from the event (produced by Steffi)

The variety of topics, that were covered and discussed, was extensive. Therefore, workshops took place, in which the group focused on difficulties in international projects, active learning through games, and how to calculate important factors in project management. In several presentations certain project management methods, successfully designed projects, and the work with open source and free licences were showed. Also, panellists talked about the topic of managing projects including groups with different or difficult social backgrounds. All in all, it was a very enriching week with a big amount of useful knowledge and interesting minds.

Here are some impressions from the work and the working environment.

What does ACAT mean?

What does ACAT mean?

This is the acronym for the “Analogous Comparison and Transfer” Method. This pedagogical approach to teaching STEM subjects was developed by Peter Mazohl (EBI/EIE Austria) and published at the ICERI 2017 (International Conference for Education, Research, and Innovation in Seville).

An example for the ACAD transfer in Quantum Physics (What are quantum objects?)

This method means a new pedagogical approach to strengthen female learners in STEM subjects. The method was developed in School Education and focuses on the age of 16 to 18 years old students. The method uses analogous comparisons by taking examples or situations from everyday life and in consequence the logical or analogous transfer to the scientific problem. The method uses the development of imaginations or “pictures in the head” to develop a view of the analogy; this picture is transferred as a problem-solving idea to the concrete scientific problem. Multimedia material like animations are used to provide a higher level of imagination and to develop the understanding for the discussed problem. The method was developed in the disciplines physics, mathematics and computer science and was tested in physics at high school level.

It turned out that male learners also benefit from this approach and get a deeper understanding in the fields of science.

To proof the ACAT method and to test the usability and get some reference to the published study an ERASMUS+ KA2 School Project was started (with December 2018). The project’s outcomes will be several examples of the implementation of the ACAT method, tested and evaluated in a Spanish, an Irish, and finally in a Swedish school.

Kathi – our new head of the training department

Kathi – our new head of the training department

Kathrin Zehrfuchs

Kathi Zehrfuch, the new head of the training department

Kathrin just finished her Master study (business) with focus on business administration and controlling at the University of Applied Studies. During her studies, she has been working for the EBI assisting in courses and in the planning, implementation and performing of the “Blended Learning Conference” in Wiener Neustadt in 2014.

In the last three years, she was also working in application writing and she coordinated the scientific publications done by the EBI.