2. Course description
The course description includes information on the specific course elements and subjects to be covered as well as information on teaching methods, teaching materials, and assessment.
We propose using a combination of the 8 EQF levels and the learning outcome descriptors: knowledge; skills; and responsibility and autonomy (European Commission 2016 a).
The Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (5) defines the concepts of knowledge, skills and competence. Knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual; skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments); and competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy. In this context, ‘skills’ refers to the ability to apply knowledge to complete tasks and solve problems. (European Commission 2016 b:3)
As most EU member states have implemented National Qualification Frameworks (NQF), as shown in the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefob) overview (Cedefob 2019), using the EQF descriptors knowledge, skills, and responsibility and autonomy in the SkillSea project provides a common understanding of the specifications.
The Educational Packages define intended Learning outcome:
learning outcomes are given as a clear statement of course objectives – that is what knowledge, skills and competence, responsibility and autonomy the student is expected to have achieved at completion of the course. The learning outcomes should be described recognisably.
Using actions verbs corresponding to the EQF or a specific profession also makes transparent how the student is expected to demonstrate the attained knowledge, skills and responsibility and autonomy.
See: 1 On learning outcome
Teaching and delivery method should be chosen to suit learning outcome and assessment method. These methods should be progressive and take into account the latest technology available.
Blended learning, individual vs. group work, e-learning, webinars, simulator exercises, on-site vs. online, lectures, lab-work, workshop, classroom activity, traineeship, sailing time, student exchange (giving cultural experience, language), work experience, augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), research work, information and communication technologies (ICT).
• Blended learning
• individual vs. group work
• simulator exercises
• on-site vs. online, lectures
• classroom activity
• traineeship/sailing time
• student exchange (giving cultural experience, language)
• work experience
• augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR)
• research work
• information and communication technologies (ICT).
Formative assessment may be included in the teaching programme – rubrics, hand-in assignments, written and/or oral feedback, for example, provide the student with information on learning progress.
See: 3 On teaching methods
Educational packages may include teaching materials and be developed to allow delivery by a subject expert. Materials must be chosen to match learning outcome and assessment method.
If the learning outcome is practical skills, the delivery methods and materials to train such skills must be available.
Teaching materials examples:
• text on Moodle
• video, games, digital material
• interactive learning material
• soft vs. hard copy
• physical objects like boats and engines, tools, equipment, model building
• model testing in tanks and laboratories
It must be clearly stated if any specific equipment, tools or materials – such as simulation, tools, laboratories and cameras – are required for delivery.
This is defined as the evaluation of the degree of acquisition of described learning outcome as per curriculum and to what extent the intended outcome is attained.
The choice of internal or external assessors must be stated.
There should be a description of how to carry out the chosen assessment method, including assessment time/duration, required resources, grade scale, preparation time, aids needed, and aids allowed.
Adequate information should be given to enable the student and assessors to understand the conditions under which the attainment of learning outcome is demonstrated.