SUPSI.7

Skill Profiler

Long Title: Skill Profiler - competence management of soft skills
Leading
Organization:
Fernfachhochschule Schweiz
affiliation: SUPSI
Participating
Organizations:
Universität Zürich
Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
Hochschule Luzern
Universitäre Fernstudien Schweiz (unfunded partner)
SWITCH - Teleinformatikdienste für Lehre und Forschung
Domain: ELS
Status: finished
Start Date: 03.01.2012
End Date: 31.03.2013
Project Leader: C. Eggs

The Skill Profiler supports students in self-reflection and along their learning path, and offers users the possibility of recording their soft skills in a simple manner and comparing them with peer profiles and requirement profiles. This tool for soft skill management is related to the labour market and will increase awarness and motivate students' and alumni in the development of their soft skills.

Results

Component Description
Soft Skill Profiler tool Tool access at SUPSI (main instance)
Soft Skill Profiler tool test instance (active until Sept. 2014) Second instance of the tool at SWITCH, open to Swiss Higher Education institutions for testing
Source Code Source code of the Soft Skill Profiler tool (Apache 2.0 License)

The Soft Skill Profiler allows students to engage in selective competence management during their studies and thus enables them to better steer their acquisition of knowledge and skills over the long term. It's use as self-reflection tool of own learning and competence acquisition in the field of soft skills is possible without extensive instruction or user effort.
The connection to the job market and the delivered graphical data output are the most important added values for students.
On the other hand the service will provide data for services and university management that can be used for analysis of profiles, e.g. patterns, soft skill achievement in different fields of study or for curriculum development.

The use of the tool is free for all Swiss students and university staff.
An intuitive GUI and a stable architecture leads the user and provides a cost-efficient service.

The hosting for the tool is not limited in time, as it will run on a FFHS server after end of 2013 for an unlimited time.
Market data can be updatet from time to time. The current open source software, which is ready for further development on demand, is available on sourceforge.
A meeting after one year of usage will define further actions for the project.


Initial Situation

With the Bologna reform the significance of soft skills, also called transferable competences or informal skill, is increasing to a major extent. Soft skills have become more and more important and found their way into the curricula. However, there is a "soft-skills-paradox" which describes the fact that despite its importance the willingness to survey these skills is low as the effort and the resulting benefit is seen unbalanced. The focus remains on formal education (in the sense of hard skills and practical know-how). Therefore, there is a lack of practicable instruments for making non-formally evaluated competences and job-related personal strengths visible.
The majority of attempts to support comprehensive, individual competence management:

  • involve a great deal of paperwork (e.g. CH-Q),
  • are dependent on coaching measures (competence balance),
  • are highly curriculum-oriented (e-portfolios),
  • are institution-dependent (integrated learning environments),
  • have led to the development of consultancy products which now have to be paid for,
  • do not make provision for any interfaces to the job market, or
  • only permit the explication of soft skills to a limited extent.

Goals

The main aim of the project is to support competence management at individual level, permitting to capture, compare and visualize soft skills, and to link them with the job market.
The Skill Profiler will allow students to engage in selective competence management during their studies and thus enable them to better steer their acquisition of knowledge and skills over the long term. It's use as self-reflection tool of own learning and competence acquisition will be possible without extensive instruction or user effort.

Benefits

The connection to the job market and the delivered graphical data output are the most important added values for students.
On the other hand the service will provide data for services (e.g. Career services) and university management that can be used for analysis of profiles, e.g. patterns, skill achievement in different fields of study or for curriculum development.
The possibility to interface the Skill Profiler with an e-Portfolio system will be examined in order to fulfil also the function as a door opener to a deeper degree of self-reflection, demanding more time and often motivation and assistance by trainers as well. Precisely the pre-selection process can be decisively improved through an appropriate tool, and can be of use to students, consultants and those offering jobs.

Technical Description

The main functionalities of the Skill Profiler are:

  1. Generation and visualization of Soft skill profiles for students created by themselves (self-perception) and by their peers (peer perception) as part of the learning process
  2. Connection of profiles with job market data / identification of job activities and job segments
  3. Comparison of profiles over time: Soft skill profile for (further) personal education and development = showing process
  4. Access and export of profiles in different formats, ePortfolios or applications (prints, online-applications)
  5. Access and export of anonymised profile data for further analysis by university services or management

The system will contain as components a MySQL database, storage interface (data exchange), user manager module, external authentication handler, peer invitation module, profile input module (self-assessment functionalities), profiler application (data collection and probability matching), graphical visualization module, reporting tool (print profiles and deliver statistics) and the user interface builder.

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