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Learning transversal skills in university: How to promote them in online learners

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 4:00pm – 4:30pm parallel session



Room 4 – 303-G16, Sem



Olatz Lopez-fernandez
Monash University, Australia



Transversal skills are now considered ‘key competencies’ in higher education institutions (HEIs1), as knowledge, skills, and attitudes help learners find personal fulfilment and work professionally in contemporary societies.


The issue

These skills should be promoted at all education levels with personalised support, especially in HEIs. The most common are synthesis, organisation, communication, collaboration, and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). These skills are now being promoted in Europe and Australasian regions (Vincent-Lancrin, 2019; Yoko, 2015). The skills promotion requires collaboration between library, administration, and faculty staff.  Some literature states that campus-based undergraduates perceive teamwork as an easy skill while managing ICT, time, or searching literature are more difficult for them, while they are not aware of other skills (e.g., referencing, critical thinking).

The first instruments to screen these skills in university assessment strategies have been developed. Staff support is a key factor to facilitate online, personalised learning of these academic skills.


Intended outcome

In this round-table, a mind map of these skills will be co-created with participants to design a pragmatic strategy to tackle at least one of the most difficult transversal skills at a HEI level in online education. The preliminary results from the literature will be shared to discuss approaches and strategies to diagnose the skills selected and support their development in a way which will facilitate their acquisition for online university students.


Proposed agenda

5 min: Presentation (author, topic, and aim), provide a set of questions and answers (Q&A) and handouts:

What transversal skills do you know?

Is your HEI promoting them? How?

What resources do you know of for staff and students?

What is the role of your Library?

Do you agree with the skills identified in the literature?

What do you think are the most difficult skills for your students?

If we need to choose one, this will be…

How do you think we could support its diagnosis?

Are these instruments useful? Why?

How can we ensure students develop them?

12 min: Interactive discussions and activities through Q&A to complete the mind map

Brainstorming: list of difficult skills and priorities

Selection of one skill among the group

Discussion on how to diagnose the skill based on instruments and knowledge provided and other experiences or ideas

Discussion on how to promote its development in at least a semester

 8 min: Main conclusions of the mind map; i.e., What we have learnt together about this skill in HEI from our regions (e.g., Europe, New Zealand, Australia) 


Presentation topic

Students – Wellbeing and Success

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