Learning and Teaching Policy Forum

Assessing transferrable skills

Picture of Heather Verstappen
Assessing transferrable skills
by Heather Verstappen - Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 12:46 PM

How will the 6 transferrable skills listed in the document (Self awareness, Communication, Digital literacy, Problem solving ability, Initiative / entrepreneurship, Social responsibility) be assessed? Will there be rubrics provided via the intranet to give guidelines for this process?

Picture of David Sturrock
Re: Assessing transferrable skills
by David Sturrock - Friday, 4 July 2014, 6:20 AM

Hi Heather

The is no institute-wide specified methodology for this yet and there are at least 2 schools of thought - embedding in standard assessment tasks versus explicitly recognising as separate competencies. Assessment tasks can be designed to require students to both show transferable skills through the completion of the task and the nature of submitting their assessment (covering communication and digital literacy).

We expect to have staff input on what is required according to their programme requirements. For example, in ELP Belma has developed a set of assessment rubrics that can be used to assess student project work.

In another programme area, the team are looking at whether they can explicitly recognize "soft skills" that students exhibit in informal tasks and work they do across courses using a badging system.

The core transferable skills in the learning and teaching policy are just the top level - I have attached the skills list included in the NMIT academic statute which came into force at the start of this year. All programmes now need to address these skills as part of the programme development/re-development process. I note the TRoQ process is often generating graduate profiles which require students to be given credit for CTS.


Picture of Rebecca Hunter
Re: Assessing transferrable skills
by Rebecca Hunter - Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 11:10 AM


I've also noticed that the Troq process has Core Transferable Skills listed in the learning outcomes.  For example we have

  • Demonstrate effective and professional communication within a maritime context;

As one of the graduate outcome statements which is very close to the core transferable skill under literacy which says:  Communicate clearly in both oral & written  forms.

Also, As we start working on new assessments it seems that the CTS should easily be able to be assessed as part of an assessment task which is covering other learning outcomes within a course- some guidance on the type of evidence tutors need to collect, or how/ where they record the achievement of the Core Transferable Skill  might be good?  I think Tutors and students will be happiest if CTS are  naturally integrated into other assessment tasks.   Nga mihi, Rebecca

Picture of Todd Cochrane
Re: Assessing transferrable skills
by Todd Cochrane - Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 11:57 AM

Our "transferable skills" look like generic ones; those that can be applied in general, and skills or perhaps accomplishments that go beyond discipline specific skills. As suggested by our Dr Atkins badging systems seem to provide frameworks for assessing these types of skills. Angela Elkordy (2012 link follows) presents a good discussion on using them, see her blog article at the HASTAC website http://www.hastac.org/blogs/elkorda/2012/10/24/future-now-unpacking-digital-badging-and-micro-credentialing-k-20-educators .

The cavaet for assessment then is perhaps a matter of refining the criteria, and identifying suitable assessors and determining subsequent workload on our staff. My bag of questions are then :

  • What are the badges?
  • Who generates them? 
  • What are the assessment criteria? 
  • Who can award a "badge"?
  • If the academic or support staff are to award badges then "what is the impact on their workload?".

Other useful links are:









Looks like a search for "transferable skills" in education brings up a series of skills related activities in career advice contexts:



These sorts of transferable skills are determined individually, hence tools like the ones above have been created.


Picture of Kathryn Koopmanschap
Re: Assessing transferrable skills
by Kathryn Koopmanschap - Friday, 25 July 2014, 10:37 AM

Badges for the Core Transferable Skills is an idea that the project team have been mulling over. Some of the links you provided are fascinating insight. My further additions to your caveat questions are:

- could we use the same system across Learners and Teachers

- would we add value to our Learners by having an NMIT badge program (ie. gain recognition from employers)

If you are interested in being involved in the discussion/planning for this - please let me know.