Assessment of Transversal Skills for STEM project kicks off in DCU

DCU researchers launch the Erasmus+ project Assessment of Transversal Skills for STEM. This project brings together researchers, policy makers and practitioners from 12 organisations across 8 European Countries. This project is coordinated by Dr. Eamon Costello from National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) in collaboration with Professor Michael O’Leary from Centre for Assessment Research and Policy in Education (CARPE) and Professor Deirdre Butler and Dr. Eilish McLoughlin from Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL). The consortium includes Irish partners from the Department of Education, H2 Learning and Kildare Education Centre along with colleagues from Danube University Krems Austria; GO! Belgium; Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Tampere University Finland, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport Slovenia, Nationa Education Institute Slovenia, Consellería de Educación, Universidad y FP. (Xunta) Spain, University of Santiago de Compostela Spain, Haninge kommun Sweden and KTH Royal Institute of Technology Sweden.

There is a growing recognition that young people today will require a growing set of transversal skills to live and work in today’s complex world. Key among these will be competences in STEM. Many European countries are now focusing on how their education systems can cultivate and assess these STEM competences or transversal skills. However, policy development and implementation of STEM education is a relatively new concept and only small number of member states have developed policies in this area or have attempted to implement associated curriculum and assessment changes. This project will create a live experiment where six countries will design STEM learning tasks, which are cross-curricular, so that students in lower secondary can have opportunities to develop a range of STEM competences. The project will develop STEM formative assessment strategies to support teachers customise their learning designs to better meet the needs of their students. The project will use constructive alignment to ensure the assessments are appropriate for the learning outcomes and that they support an active student-centred pedagogical approach. Digital technology will underpin and support these assessment strategies by providing teachers and students with data to enhance student learning. This project has the potential to make a major contribution to European education by unpacking what STEM digital learning looks like in reality and will allow policy makers to observe and learn from the implementation of progressive practices in over 120 European schools.