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Department of Information Technology


9th CeTUSS Workshop, April 8, 2011

Seminar Day on Professional Competencies

in collaboration with the IEEE Nordic Education Society Chapter

sponsored by the faculty of educational sciences

Short info
Call for Participation
List of Delegates
Presentations are linked to the program below

There is general agreement that university students should develop professional skills and be able to demonstrate them as they enter the work force as emerging professionals in their discipline. Such requirements are typically described in the learning goals of tertiary educational programs, particularly in professional disciplines like engineering. The inclusion of these types of skills among the expected learning outcomes of degree programmes is often driven at a national level by accreditation requirements such as those of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in the United States and the Australian Computer Society in Australia. Often, however, teaching teams are often more comfortable placing emphasis on the development of technical skills. Limited room in the curricula, the view that professional skills are not core to the discipline of computer science, or that instructors lack experience with these topics, are sometimes cited as reasons for reduced or limited emphasis on these important skills. Another problem is that many educators have an intuitive grasp of what professional skills are, but struggle to give a clear definition of them and to define rubrics for their assessment. This can be further complicated by the plethora of names for professional skills, e.g. soft skills, transferable skills, and employable skills.

This workshop gathers international experts from academia and industry to discuss development of professional competencies in the context of tertiary education for a seminar day consisting of invited presentations, see the program presented below, and attendee contributions. Attendees will discuss the integration of professional competences in education from different perspectives.

Participants will leave the workshop with an improved understanding of the issues associated with integration of professional competences into education.

The seminar language is English.

Seminar fee: 500 SEK, includes tea/coffee breaks and lunch. Fill in this form for payment.

We look forward to welcoming you to Uppsala in April!

Åsa Cajander, Mats Daniels, and Arnold Pears


8.30 Coffee

9.00 "Competencies and Skills: Filling Old Skins with New Wine" by Christina Dörge

foto_christina_doerge_2.jpg Christina Doerge holds a diploma in computer science & informatics. Her main interest is concerns what ICT / CS / Informatics key skills / key competencies are for a general education. This is also the focus of her forthcoming PhD thesis.

Key competencies, key skills and key qualifications are buzzwords so prominently featured in contemporary scientific treatises that discussions have been prompted about an inflationary use of the terms and what they really should be taken to mean. This presentation will provide insight into the discussion on skills in Anglo-American and German scientific research.

10.00 Demonstrating the Attainment of Professional Competences by Steve Seidman, Dean of Science, Texas State University, Texas, USA.

stephen.pngStephen Seidman is Dean of the College of Science at Texas State University and 2011 president of CSAB, the ABET society responsible for US computing accreditation.

In the US, computing accreditation is the responsibility of ABET (formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). ABET standards require that a computing program enable students to attain several professional competences by the time of graduation. This talk will describe these competences and discuss some ways that computing programs demonstrate that their students are enabled to attain them.

11.00 Ways in which Students' Reflective Analysis of their own Learning can be Incorporated into the Undergraduate Curriculum by Roger McDemott, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland.

uppsala.jpg Roger is a Senior Lecturer and Teaching Fellow in the School of Computing at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, where he is Head of the Division of Mathematics and Statistics. Within the department, he has responsibility for developing and directing pedagogical innovation and is responsible for the first two years of the undergraduate degree programmes. His main research interest include the integration of ePortfolios and Personal Development Planning tools into the curriculum, pedagogical evaluation of novice programming tools, and the development of activities to encourage reflection in learning blogs. A current research area is the application of workplace learning models to university-based education and the links with the assessment of professional competences.

This talk will examine ways in which students´ reflective analysis of their own learning can be incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum. It has been found that the use of blogs can provide a powerful tool to encourage students to document their educational experiences. Some details of the practical implementation of this work are discussed, together with a description of some of the difficulties that arise when the informal aspects of blogging conflict with the desire to use reflective work as formal evidence of learning in a personal development portfolio.

12.00 Lunch

13.00 The Identification, Development and Presentation of Professional Skills by Brian von Konsky, Curtin University, Perth, Australien.

brian.jpgBrian is the Senior Online Education Developer at the Curtin Business School, and is recognized as an Certified Professional by the Australian Computer Society (ACS). He was elected a Fellow of the ACS in recognition of his contribution to computing and software engineering education. He is the Associate Director of the ACS Professional Standards Board (PSB) where he has taken a leadership role in defining the ACS Core Body of Knowledge. Previously, he was the Course Coordinator for Curtin University's degree programs in Software Engineering. His research interests include software engineering and computing education, with an emphasis on the development of professional skills like leadership, teamwork, and project management. He is also interested in mobile technologies that support online learning and collaboration. His work draws on previous experience as Course Coordinator of the Bachelors of Engineering and Science in Software Engineering programs. He has extensive experience in the ICT industry that includes nine years as an employee of Hewlett-Packard.

This talk will explore the identification, development and presentation of professional skills using a variety of tools and techniques. In particular, case studies will be presented to demonstrate how electronic portfolios, peer collaboration, and public poster presentation can be used as a basis for self-reflection and the demonstration of professional skills and abilities. The role of established frameworks for identifying the level of autonomy and responsibility with which skills are practised by Information Communications Technology (ICT) professionals will also be presented.

14.00 Teaching professional engineering skills - Industry participation in realistic role play simulation by Pernille Andersson, Niclas Andersson Techincal University of Denmark, Copenhagen..

Niclas Andersson is a senior lecturer and associate professor in construction management at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU. His current teaching and research activities mainly involve the emerging field of virtual construction and design, i.e. BIM or 5D-modeling. Niclas has a genuine interest in pedagogical issues and his close involved in pedagogical training and development at his university include, among other things, the role of pedagogical supervisor and member of the CDIO implementation board at the civil engineering department at DTU.

Pernille Andersson is educational consultant at LearningLab DTU at the Technical University of Denmark. She is coordinator and responsible for the compulsory teacher training program at DTU as well as other competency developing activities in teaching and learning. Pernille works with projects aimed at developing teaching and learning at DTU departments, and at DTU in general. She also works with deeper evaluation of new teaching methods and teaching and learning initiatives at DTU. On national level in Denmark, Pernille is a representative in the steering committee of DACIN, a network supporting educational development in engineering education at the technical universities and university colleges.

Engineering education aims at providing students with sufficient disciplinary knowledge of science and engineering principles in order for them to become successful and skilful engineers. However, to fulfil their roles as professional engineers, students also need to develop professional skills, in order to implement and apply their theoretical and technical knowledge in a real life context.

This presentation will address the CDIO-initavie (Concive-Design-Implement-Operate) as a comprehensive approach to engineering education in which the teaching of professional skills are brought forward as important supplements to the disciplinary knowledge.

The implementation of professional skills in engineering education must be done, however, without reducing the existing curriculum of technical disciplines and still allow for the continuous acquisition of new technical knowledge. This can be regarded as a dilemma by many engineering teachers. This presentation discusses the identified problem of "curriculum overload" and explores the use of teaching and learning methods that imbed training of professional skills along with the learning of disciplinary knowledge. Results from a case study of a master course in which the students interact with professional engineers in a realistic role play simulation in an industrial context, will be presented. Discussions about students´ reflections and understanding of professional skills, the issue of transferring knowledge and skills from one context to another and how different teaching and assessment methods can facilitate the learning of professional skills in engineering teaching will be addressed.

15.00 Coffee

15.30 Ethical competence by Mikael Laaksoharju

Mikael Laaksoharju is in his PhD studies concerned with the design and construction of support tools for ethical decision making. The work is based on an assertion that ethical competence is the ability to choose a proper approach to address moral problems. Most moral problems are best dealt with by adopting straightforward heuristics, but some problems require systematic analyzing and cautious deliberation; The situation might be unprecedented or the immediate solution is unsatisfactory. This raises a number of questions, to which there are no clear-cut answers: How do we recognize and evaluate moral problems? How do we solve these? How do we know that we have found an acceptable solution? How do we argue for it? Etc.

In this presentation, a definition of ethical competence and some ideas for how to better approach moral problems will be put up for scrutiny. The main message, to reflect systematically and be prepared to reevaluate your own position, will be mirrored also in the presentation. Prepare for discussions!

16.30 Reflections on the day. Arnold Pears

Registration and Contact

Please contact Patrik Armuand to participate and register for the seminar day.

Questions regarding the seminar day is answered by Åsa Cajander, Mats Daniels, and Arnold Pears


  • Date and time: April 8, 2011, 9-17
  • The seminar day is organised by Uppsala Computing Education Group UpCERG in collaboration with the national center for pedagogical development in technology education in a societal and student oriented context (CeTUSS) and the IEEE Nordic Education Society Chapter.
  • Some central hotels of a good standard include, Svava, Park Inn, and Grand Hotel Hörnan. A number of other central (and not so central hotels can be found here: Suggestions of some local Uppsala Hotels
Updated  2011-05-05 15:38:01 by Mats Daniels.