Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 305

Search results for: competencies

305 Competencies and Training Needs for School Sport Managers in the North West Province, South Africa

Authors: Elriena Eksteen, Yolandi Willemse, Dawie D. J. Malan, Suria Ellis

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It is important to understand which competencies are needed for managerial and administrative effectiveness of school sport managers with regard to the design, delivery and direction of school sport programmes. The purpose of this study was to determine the competencies and training needs for secondary school sport managers in the North West Province. Data were gathered from 79 school sport managers in the North West Province by means of a validated self-compiled questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis and a dependent t-test were used to compare which competencies school sport managers perceive as important in their work with the competencies they actually perform. Functional competencies and core competencies were both found to be important for managing school sport effectively. There were statistically significant differences between the perceived importance of competencies and the frequency with which competencies were actually performed. Respondents attached greater importance to functional and core competencies than the proportion of time spent actually performing them. Furthermore, results indicated the need to train teachers in managing sport finance, sport facilities and human resources, as well as presenting workshops in public relations, sport marketing and sport organisation.

Keywords: competencies, functional competencies, core competencies, school sport manager, training needs

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304 Lobbyists’ Competencies as a Basis for Shaping the Positive Image of Modern Lobbying

Authors: Joanna Dzieńdziora

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Lobbying is an instrument of influence in various decision-making processes. It is also the underestimated issue as a research problem. The lack of research on the modern lobbyist competencies is the most crucial element. The paper presents attempts of finding answers to the following questions: Who should run the lobbying activity? What competencies should a lobbyist possess in order to implement lobbying activities effectively? Searching for answers for the mentioned above questions requires positioning the opportunity to change the image of lobbying in the area of competencies of entities that provide lobbying activities. The aim of the paper is presenting the lobbyist competencies profile in the framework of his professional role. The essence of lobbying activity and its significance in the modern economy as well as areas, the scope of lobbying activities, diagnosis of a modern lobbyist’s competences, lobbyist’s competencies profile that is focused on the professionalization of the lobbying activity, will have been presented in this paper. Indicated research tasks let emerge lobbyist’s competencies in the way that allows identifying and elaborating the lobbyist competencies profile. The profile lets improve lobbying activities. Its elaboration is based on the author’s research results analysis. Taking into consideration the shortages within the theory and research on the lobbying activity, the implementation of this research enables to fill the cognitive gap existing in the theory of management sciences.

Keywords: competencies, competencies profile, lobbying, lobbyist

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303 Characterization of Group Dynamics for Fostering Mathematical Modeling Competencies

Authors: Ayse Ozturk

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The study extends the prior research on modeling competencies by positioning students’ cognitive and language resources as the fundamentals for pursuing their own inquiry and expression lines through mathematical modeling. This strategy aims to answer the question that guides this study, “How do students’ group approaches to modeling tasks affect their modeling competencies over a unit of instruction?” Six bilingual tenth-grade students worked on open-ended modeling problems along with the content focused on quantities over six weeks. Each group was found to have a unique cognitive approach for solving these problems. Three different problem-solving strategies affected how the groups’ modeling competencies changed. The results provide evidence that the discussion around groups’ solutions, coupled with their reflections, advances group interpreting and validating competencies in the mathematical modeling process

Keywords: cognition, collective learning, mathematical modeling competencies, problem-solving

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302 The Relationship of Entrepreneurial Competencies and Business Success of Malaysian SMEs: The Mediating Role of Innovation and Brand Equity

Authors: Azmi Umar, Rohana Ngah

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The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship of entrepreneurial competencies on business success in the context of Malaysian SMEs. In the recent study, when the business environment is hostile and dynamic, the entrepreneurial competencies are identified as the most important factor in business success. Entrepreneurial competencies are also connected directly to business performance. Beside entrepreneurial competencies, the entrepreneurs should also be competent to create an innovation and brand equity for business growth. The innovation and brand equity contributed to competitive advantages that lead to business growth and success. This paper adopts the Resource Based Theory (RBT) which emphasize that entrepreneurial competencies, innovation and brand equity are valuable and intangible resources that lead towards the success of business; and Brand Equity Creation Process Model (BECPM). A quantitative methodology was used to collect the data from owner/managers of Malaysian SMEs. Data were analyzed by using SPSS and SEM software. Hence, findings of the present study would be essential for owner/managers and strategy makers to enhance the entrepreneurial competencies; innovation and brand equity of SMEs in Malaysia towards global competition.

Keywords: entrepreneurial competencies, innovation, brand equity, business success, SMEs

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301 The Role of Social Civil Competencies in Organizational Performance

Authors: I. Martins, A. Martins

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The European Union supports social and civil competencies as being a core element to develop sustainability of organizations, people and regions. These competencies are fundamental for the well-being of the community because they include interpersonal, intrapersonal as well as their civil, active and democratic participation in organizations. The combination of these competencies reveals the organizational socio-emotional maturity and allows relevant levels of performance. It also allows the development of various capitals, namely, human, structural, relational and social, with direct influence on performance. But along this path, the emotional aspect has not been valued as a capital, given that contemporary society is based on knowledge capital and is flooded with information viewed as a capital. The present study, based on the importance of these socio-emotional capitals, aims to show that the competencies of cooperation, interpersonal understanding, empathy, kindness, ability to listen, and tolerance, to mention a few, are strategic in consolidating knowledge within organizations. This implies that the humanizing processes, both inside and outside the organizations, are revitalized. The question is how to go about doing this and its implementation; as well as, where to begin and which guidelines to take on. These are the foci that guide the present study, bearing in mind the directions of the knowledge economy.

Keywords: civil competencies, humanizing, performance, social competencies

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300 Elucidation of Leaders' Intrapersonal Competencies in the Workplace

Authors: Prakash Singh

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Employees who are satisfied at their place of work rate their leaders’ intrapersonal competencies as being high. They also believe that a leader’s intrapersonal competencies influence their sense of job satisfaction. Employees who indicate that they are unhappy at their place of work rate their leaders’ intrapersonal competencies as being low. They also believe that a leader’s intrapersonal intelligence influence their feeling of job satisfaction. The leader’s appropriate intrapersonal competencies are crucial to the creation of a motivated and satisfied employee team. In this study, the quantitative research method was used to determine the employees’ perceptions of their leaders’ intrapersonal competencies and their influence on their job satisfaction; the six competencies being self-awareness, self-confidence, self-expression, self-control, adaptability, and optimism. All the competencies of leaders identified in this quantitative study can therefore be described as intervening variables that influence an employee’s sense of job satisfaction. The number of responses that indicate that each of the intrapersonal competencies of a leader that will have an influence on an employee’s sense of job satisfaction, ranges from 93% (a leader’s sense of self-awareness) to 99% (a leader’s ability to be adaptable). As the responses are significantly similar, it can be stated that the respondents indicate that all the intrapersonal competencies of a leader can influence an employee’s sense of job satisfaction. The findings of this study strongly suggest that in order to be satisfied at work, employees prefer to be led by leaders who are confident in their leadership roles; who send out clear, unambiguous messages; who maintain self-control; who are adaptable and flexible;, who face the future with optimism and who support the establishment of a collegial working environment. Evidently, the findings corroborate the hypothesis that employees believe that the intrapersonal competencies of leaders have a positive influence on the employees’ sense of job satisfaction. This study’s findings, therefore, confirm that the key to the leaders’ self-knowledge is access to their own feelings and the ability to discriminate among them and draw upon them to guide behaviour in their organisations. This exploratory study makes a contribution to the emerging research being accomplished on leaders’ intrapersonal intelligence with more research still needing to be attempted to determine to what extent these competencies of leaders can reshape the organizational climate and culture.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, employees’ job satisfaction, leaders’ intrapersonal competencies, leaders’ self-knowledge

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299 The Influence of Gender on Job-Competencies Requirements of Chemical-Based Industries and Undergraduate-Competencies Acquisition of Chemists in South West, Nigeria

Authors: Rachael Olatoun Okunuga

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Developing young people’s employability is a key policy issue for ensuring their successful transition to the labour market and their access to career oriented employment. The youths of today irrespective of their gender need to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to create or find jobs as well as cope with unpredictable labour market changes throughout their working lives. In a study carried out to determine the influence of gender on job-competencies requirements of chemical-based industries and undergraduate-competencies acquisition by chemists working in the industries, all chemistry graduates working in twenty (20) chemical-based industries that were randomly selected from six sectors of chemical-based industries in Lagos and Ogun States of Nigeria were administered with Job-competencies required and undergraduate-competencies acquired assessment questionnaire. The data were analysed using means and independent sample t-test. The findings revealed that the population of female chemists working in chemical-based industries is low compared with the number of male chemists; furthermore, job-competencies requirements are found not to be gender sensitive while there is no significant difference in undergraduate-competencies acquisition of male and female chemists. This suggests that females should be given the same opportunity of employment in chemical-based industries as their male counterparts. The study also revealed the level of acquisition of undergraduate competencies as related to the needs of chemical-based industries.

Keywords: knowledge, skill, attitude, acquired, required, employability

Procedia PDF Downloads 299
298 Assessment of the Professional Competencies of Agriculture Officers in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Khalid Nawab, Shahid Ali, Mubashir Habib, Shakirullah Khan, Sajjad Ahmad, Javid Ullah, Ikramul Haq

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Professionally competent Agriculture Officers (AOs) can play an important role in the development of agriculture in the country. This study was conducted in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) (Pakistan) to assess professional competencies of Agriculture Officers (AOs) in January 2007. Data were collected from all (112) AOs through a mailed questionnaire. The study examines existing level of professional competencies of AOs and the required level of possessed competencies needed by them for their job performance in the areas of participatory extension methodologies. Both the possessed and required levels of competencies were scaled from 1-5 on Liker scale, 1 being very low and 5 being very high. . The study revealed a numerical difference between possessed and required levels regarding the professional competencies of the participatory extension methodology. It was also observed that higher levels of job experience increase the professional competencies in participatory extension methodology. It is recommended that periodic training and refresher courses are arranged for AOs so that their learning may become more practicable to diffuse agricultural innovations among members of participatory learning groups and convey modern technologies to the end users.

Keywords: professional competency, agriculture officers, assessment and participatory extension methodology, participatory extension

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297 Enhancing Students’ Language Competencies through Cooperative Learning

Authors: Raziel Felix-Aguelo

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Language competencies refer to the knowledge and abilities to use English in four inter-related skills: Speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Cooperative learning is a type of instruction where learners are grouped together to work on an assignment, project, or task. To become competent in second language, one needs to actively use English in each of four modalities. Learning English is challenging to second language learners. Sometimes, some students feel demotivated and scared to use English during class discussions and recitations. This paper explores the students’ attitude and perception towards cooperative learning in enhancing their language competencies. The primary method for this research is case study. Thirty-two grade 9 students within a single selected class are used as sample. The instruments used in data collection were questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The finding shows that collaborative learning activities enhance the four skills of the students. The participants consider this approach motivational as they engage and interact with others. This indicates that students develop their language competencies as they rely to one another in doing meaningful language activities.

Keywords: language competencies, collaborative learning, motivation, language activities

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296 Multi-Perspective Learning in a Real Production Plant Using Experiential Learning in Heterogeneous Groups to Develop System Competencies for Production System Improvements

Authors: Marlies Achenbach

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System competencies play a key role to ensure an effective and efficient improvement of production systems. Thus, there can be observed an increasing demand for developing system competencies in industry as well as in engineering education. System competencies consist of the following two main abilities: Evaluating the current state of a production system and developing a target state. The innovative course ‘multi-perspective learning in a real production plant (multi real)’ is developed to create a learning setting that supports the development of these system competencies. Therefore, the setting combines two innovative aspects: First, the Learning takes place in heterogeneous groups formed by students as well as professionals and managers from industry. Second, the learning takes place in a real production plant. This paper presents the innovative didactic concept of ‘multi real’ in detail, which will initially be implemented in October/November 2016 in the industrial engineering, logistics and mechanical master’s program at TU Dortmund University.

Keywords: experiential learning, heterogeneous groups, improving production systems, system competencies

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295 Disaster Nursing Competency of Nurses in Surattani Province, Thailand: A Factor Analysis

Authors: Rungnapa Chantra

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As health care rapidly changes, the nursing profession is also evolving to improve quality of care while maintaining competency in their practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors of disaster nurse competencies and investigate the predictable variables in disaster nurse competencies in Suratthani Province, Thailand. The sample consisted of 305 nurses who were recruited by simple random sampling. The development questionnaires from ICN Framework and research contains Pre/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery/Rehabilitation Competencies (α=0.87). The data were analyzed using Principle Components Extraction and Orthogonal Rotation with Varimax Method. The findings were as follows; four significant factors of disaster nurse competencies in Suratthani Province, Thailand were identified. These factors were described by 62 variables that accounted for 50.01% of the total variance. The results of this study could be for agencies that are responsible for the development of nursing competencies and should be aware of the development of knowledge and skills in disaster management.

Keywords: disaster nursing competency of nurses, nursing informatics, health science, medical

Procedia PDF Downloads 281
294 IT Skills and Soft Skills for Accountants in Thailand

Authors: Manirath Wongsim

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Information technology management has become important for the achievement of organisations. An increase in the pace of technological change has revolutionised the way accountants perform their jobs. In response to this challenge, the identification of a new comprehensive set of information technology competencies combined with information technology skills and other skills (namely, soft skills) are necessary. Thus, this study aims to investigate IT competencies among professional accountants to enhance firm performance. This research was conducted with 42 respondents at ten organisations in Thailand. This research used qualitative, interpretive evidence.The results indicate that the factor IT competencies within the organizational issues defines19 factors. Specifically, these new factors, based on the research findings and the literature and unique to IT competences for professional accountants, include ERP software skills, BI software skills and accounting law and legal skills. The evidence in this study suggests that ERP software, spreadsheets, BI software and accounting software were ranked as much-needed skills to be acquired by accountants while communication skills were ranked as the most required skills, and delegation skills as the least required. The findings of the research’s empirical evidence suggest that organizations should understand appropriate into developing information technology related competencies for knowledge workers in general and professional accountants in particular and provide assistance in all processes of decision making.

Keywords: IT competencies, IT competencies for accountants, IT skills for accounting, soft skills for accountants

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293 Teaching Professional Competences through Projects: Experiencing Curriculum Development through Active Learning

Authors: Flavio Campos, Patricia Masmo, Fernanda Yamamoto

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The report presents a research about teaching professional competencies through projects, considering the student as an active learner and curriculum development. Considering project based-learning, the report articulate the result of research about curriculum development for professional competencies and teaching-learning strategies to help the development of professional competencies in learning environments in the courses of National Learning Service in São Paulo, Brazil. There so, intend to demonstrate fundamentals to elaborate curriculum to learning environment, specific about teaching methodologies to enrich student-learning process, using projects. The practice that has been taking place since 2013 indicates the needs of rethinking knowledge and practice in courses that prepared students to labor.

Keywords: curriculum design, active learning, professional competencies, project based-learning

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292 Exploring Manufacturing Competency and Strategic Success: A Review

Authors: Chandan Deep Singh, Jaimal Singh Khamba, Harleen Kaur

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Eminence, charge, deliverance, modernism, and awareness underlie most manufacturing strategic plan today. Firms have traditionally pursued the above tasks through the implementation of advanced technologies and manufacturing practices, such as Reverse Engineering, Value Engineering, worker empowerment, etc. Recent developments in industry suggest the materialization of another route to manufacturing brilliance, that is, there is an increasing focus by industry regulators and professional bodies on the need to stimulate innovation in a broad range of manufacturing competencies. By ‘competencies’ we mean the methods, equipment and expertise that can be developed as a leading capability in one market sector or application and have real potential to be applied successfully across other sectors or applications as well. Further, competencies are the ability to apply or use a set of related knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform 'critical work functions' or tasks in a defined work setting. Competencies often serve as the basis for skill standards that specify the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities required for success in the workplace as well as potential measurement criteria for assessing competency attainment. The present research is so designed to come up to the level of the expectations of the industrialists, policy makers, designers of the competencies, specially, the manufacturing competencies upon which the whole strategic success of the industry depends.

Keywords: manufacturing competency, strategic success, manufacturing excellence, competitive strategy

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291 Motivational Interviewing as a Framework for Coaching Physicians through ACGME Milestones

Authors: Michael Olson

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The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in the U.S. has established core competencies and milestones for family physicians in residency training programs. These competencies are intended to guide preceptors as they work with physician trainees toward independent practice. This conceptual paper describes a framework for coaching trainees toward these milestones using motivational interviewing as an evidence-based approach. The main objective of applying the motivational interviewing framework to the residency training setting is to facilitate clinical behavior change that meets higher level competencies/rubric. This is a work in progress and there is no manuscript/paper prepared to date. A conceptual paper/framework will be completed by the conference deadline. This is based on a separate but related development of work we have completed and published elsewhere.

Keywords: coaching, motivational interviewing, physicians, competencies

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290 Impact of Pan Pacific's Training Program to Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) Practicum Trainees

Authors: Bandojo Paula Maria Noella, Bernardo Bea Samantha B., Del Rosario Hanassa Mae S., Gomez Marian Louise D., Gomez Rome Voltaire M., Reyes Alessa Anne Therese A.

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The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a significant difference between the training program of Pan Pacific Hotel to other Five Star Hotels in terms of the technical, professional and personal competencies before and after their training. The theoretical framework of this study is the practicum manual of the University of Santo Tomas College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Hotel and Restaurant Management Program Practicum Manual. This study was conducted using survey questionnaires that were distributed to 50 respondents. The results showed that there is a significant difference with the level of competencies of the practicum trainee before and after the training regardless if the training is structured or unstructured. Results also showed that the structured training program of Pan Pacific Hotel significantly improved the Technical Competencies in the different departments of the hotel industry. On the other hand, the findings also showed that there is no difference between the structured and unstructured training program in terms of Professional Competencies and Personal Competencies. The proponents concluded the study by providing recommendations to the partner hotels of the University of Santo Tomas College of Tourism and Hospitality Management that there should be a structured training program for the practicum trainees.

Keywords: structured and structured training program, practicum trainees, competencies, tourism

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289 Higher Education Teachers' Perceptions of Core Competencies and Innovation: The Case of Mohamed V University Abu Dhabi

Authors: Khalid Soussi

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Implementing innovative teaching and learning methods is of pivotal importance for student motivation and teaching quality. At the center of such quality are teaching competencies. The present paper investigates three teachers’ core competencies related to their innovative teaching performance: educational/pedagogical competency, teaching competency, and social competency. The paper also attempts to describe the influence of social factors on innovation in higher education. Many recent studies highlight the technological competency as an independent one, but it is believed in this study that the latter makes part of the pedagogical competency. A Likert scale questionnaire was used to measure teachers’ judgements of core competencies role in innovative teaching performance. The study also attempted to demarcate the social variables that may affect innovative teaching in higher education. The findings indicate that teachers’ educational competency and teaching competency were generally confirmed to be either important or very important for innovation in teaching performance. Regarding social competency, the study also shows that satisfaction from job, daily working hours, amount of workload, flexibility in the functioning and the quality of students are the main factors that have a large effect on teachers’ innovative teaching performance.

Keywords: higher education, innovative teaching, teaching competencies, teaching performance

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288 Information Technology Competences for Professional Accountants in Thai Small to Medium Accounting Practice

Authors: Manirath Wongsim, Chatchawarn Srimontree, Pornpichit Phosri

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Today, the majority of the data innovation may be currently majorly influencing business, what more accepted part of the accountant may be evolving. Information Technology elements have been appearing to be crucial in triggering changes of accountants’ roles. Thus, this study aims to investigate IT competencies among professional accountants to enhance firm performance. This research was conducted with 47 respondents at five organizations in Thailand and used quantitative research. The results indicate that the factor IT competencies for professional accountants in Thai small to medium accounting within the organizational issues defines18 factors. Specifically, these new factors, based on the research findings and the literature, then unique to IT competencies for professional accountants, include ERP software skills and accounting law and legal skills. The evidence in this study suggests that Analytical skills, teamwork skills, and accounting software were ranked as much-needed skills to be acquired by accountants while communication skills were ranked as the most required skills and delegation skills as the least required. The findings of the research’s empirical evidence suggest that organizations should understand appropriate in developing information technology influence competencies for knowledge employees in general and professional accountants in particular and provide assistance in all processes of decision making.

Keywords: IT competencies, IT competences for professional accountants, IT skills for accounting, IT skills in SMEs

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287 Impact of Teacher Qualifications on the Pedagogical Competencies of University Lecturers in Northwest Nigeria: A Pilot Study Report

Authors: Collins Ekpiwre Augustine

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Taking into account the impact of teacher training on primary and secondary teachers’ classroom competencies and practices, as revealed by many empirical studies, this study investigated the impact of teacher qualifications on the pedagogical competencies of university teachers in Northwest Nigeria.Four research questions were answered while four hypotheses were tested. Both descriptive statistic of frequencies/arithmetic mean and inferential statistic oft-test were used to analyze the data collected. In order to provide a focus to the study,an observational rating scale titled “University Teachers’ Pedagogical Competency Observation Rating Scale” (UTPCORS) was used to collect data for the study. The population for the study comprised all the university teachers in the three Federal Universities in Northwest Nigeria totaling about 3,401. However, this pilot study was administered on 8 teachers - with 4 participants in each comparison group in Bayero University, Kano.The findings of the study revealed that there was no significant difference in the four hypotheses postulated for the study.

Keywords: impact, university teachers, teachers' qualifications, competencies

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286 Informing the Implementation of Career Conversations in Secondary Schools for the Building of Student Career Competencies: The Case of Portugal

Authors: Cristina Isabrl de Oliveira SAntos

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The study aims to investigate how transferrable and effective career conversations could be, in the context of general track Portuguese secondary schools, with the view of improving students’ career competencies. It does so by analysing: 1) the extent to which students’ perceptions of career conversations relate with their existing career competencies, 2) the extent to which each of the parameters; perceptions of career conversations and student career competencies, relate with student situational and personal characteristics, 3) how patterns in perceptions of headteachers and of teachers at a school, regarding the implementation of career conversations, correlate to the views of students regarding career conversations and to school contextual characteristics. Data were collected from 27 secondary schools out of 32 in the same district of Aveiro, in Portugal. Interviews were performed individually, with 27 headteachers, and in groups, with a total of 10 teacher groups and 11 student groups. Survey responses were also collected from742 studentsand 310 teachers. Interview responses were coded and analysed using grounded theory principles. Data from questionnaires is currently beingscrutinised through descriptive statistics with SPSS, and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). Triangulation during different stages of data analysis uses the principles of retroduction and abduction of the realist evaluation framework. Conclusions from the pilot-study indicate that student perceptions scores on content and relationship in career conversations change according to their career competencies and the type of school. Statistically significant differences in perceptions of career conversations were found for subgroups based on gender and parent educational level.

Keywords: career conversations, career competencies, secondary education, teachers

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285 Students Competencies in the Use of Computer Assistive Technology at Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern of Ghana

Authors: Joseph Ampratwum, Yaw Nyadu Offei, Afua Ntoaduro, Frank Twum

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The use of computer assistive technology has captured the attention of individuals with visual impairment. Children with visual impairments who are tactual learners have one unique need which is quite different from all other disability groups. They depend on the use of computer assistive technology for reading, writing, receiving information and sending information as well. The objective of the study was to assess students’ competencies in the use of computer assistive technology at Akropong School for the Blind in Ghana. This became necessary because little research has been conducted to document the competencies and challenges in the use of computer among students with visual impairments in Africa. A case study design with a mixed research strategy was adopted for the study. A purposive sampling technique was used to sample 35 students from Akropong School for the Blind in the eastern region of Ghana. The researcher gathered both quantitative and qualitative data to measure students’ competencies in keyboarding skills and Job Access with Speech (JAWS), as well as the other challenges. The findings indicated that comparatively students’ competency in keyboard skills was higher than JAWS application use. Thus students had reached higher stages in the conscious competencies matrix in the former than the latter. It was generally noted that challenges limiting effective use of students’ competencies in computer assistive technology in the School were more personal than external influences. This was because most of the challenges were due to the individual response to the training and familiarity in developing their competencies in using computer assistive technology. Base on this it was recommended that efforts should be made to stock up the laboratory with additional computers. Directly in line with the first recommendation, it was further suggested that more practice time should be created for the students to maximize computer use. Also Licensed JAWS must be acquired by the school to advance students’ competence in using computer assistive technology.

Keywords: computer assistive technology, job access with speech, keyboard, visual impairment

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284 Conceptualization and Assessment of Key Competencies for Children in Preschools: A Case Study in Southwest China

Authors: Yumei Han, Naiqing Song, Xiaoping Yang, Yuping Han

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This study explores the conceptualization of key competencies that children are expected to develop in three year preschools (age 3-6) and the assessment practices of such key competencies in China. Assessment of children development has been put into the central place of early childhood education quality evaluation system in China. In the context of students key competencies development centered education reform in China, defining and selecting key competencies of children in preschools are of great significance in that they would lay a solid foundation for children’s lifelong learning path, and they would lead to curriculum and instruction reform, teacher development reform as well as quality evaluation reform in the early childhood education area. Based on sense making theory and framework, this study adopted multiple stakeholders’ (early childhood educators, parents, evaluation administrators, scholars in the early childhood education field) perspectives and grass root voices to conceptualize and operationalize key competencies for children in preschools in Southwest China. On the ground of children development theories, Chinese and international literature related to children development and key competencies, and key competencies frameworks by UNESCO, OECD and other nations, the authors designed a two-phase sequential mixed method study to address three main questions: (a) How is early childhood key competency defined or labeled from literature and from different stakeholders’ views? (b) Based on the definitions explicated in the literature and the surveys on different stakeholders, what domains and components are regarded to constitute the key competency framework of children in three-year preschools in China? (c) How have early childhood key competencies been assessed and measured, and how such assessment and measurement contribute to enhancing early childhood development quality? On the first phase, a series of focus group surveys were conducted among different types of stakeholders around the research questions. Moreover, on the second phase, based on the coding of the participants’ answers, together with literature synthesis findings, a questionnaire survey was designed and conducted to select most commonly expected components of preschool children’s key competencies. Semi-structured open questions were also included in the questionnaire for the participants to add on competencies beyond the checklist. Rudimentary findings show agreeable concerns on the significance and necessity of conceptualization and assessment of key competencies for children in preschools, and a key competencies framework composed of 7 domains and 25 indicators was constructed. Meanwhile, the findings also show issues in the current assessment practices of children’s competencies, such as lack of effective assessment tools, lack of teacher capacity in applying the tools to evaluating children and advancing children development accordingly. Finally, the authors put forth suggestions and implications for China and international communities in terms of restructuring early childhood key competencies framework, and promoting child development centered reform in early childhood education quality evaluation and development.

Keywords: assessment, conceptualization, early childhood education quality in China, key competencies

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283 Nurses' Perception and Core Competencies for Disaster Preparedness: A Study from the Western Region of Turkey

Authors: Gülcan Taşkıran, Ülkü Tatar Baykal

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Aim: To identify nurses’ perceived competencies for disaster preparedness. Background: Recently, the number of disasters has increased worldwide. Since disasters often strike without warning, healthcare providers, especially nurses must be prepared with appropriate competencies for disaster procedures. Nurses’ perceptions of their own competencies for disaster preparedness need to be evaluated to aid in the creation of effective national plans and educational programs. Design: This study was conducted with a descriptive and cross-sectional design. Methods: Nurses’ perceptions were assessed using the 13-item Demographic Profile Questionnaire that is based on previous literature and the 45-item Nurses’ Perception of Core Competencies for Disaster Preparedness Scale (NPCDPS). Data were collected from June to September 2014 from 406 (79.9% return rate) Turkish nurses working in the western region of Turkey. Results: At the end of the study, it was found that out of the nurses whose mean age was 31.27 ± 5.86 and mean of working time was 8.07 ± 6.60 by the time vast majority of the nurses were women (85.7%), married (59.4%), bachelor’s degree holder (88.2%) and service nurses (56.2%). The most potential disaster that nurses think is an earthquake (70.9%) by the time majority of nurses consider having a role as a nurse at every stage of disasters. The mean total point score of nurses’ perception of disaster preparedness was 4.62. The mean total point score of the nurses from the Nurses’ Perception of Core Competencies for Disaster Preparedness Scale was 133.96. When the subscales’ mean scores are examined, the highest average of the mean score is for Technical Skills (44.52), and the lowest is for Critical Thinking Skills (10.47). When the subscales of Nurses’ Perception of Core Competencies for Disaster Preparedness Scale compared with sex, marital status and education level out of independent variable of nurses there is no significant difference (p > 0.05); compared with age group, working years, duty and being with a disaster out of independent variable of nurses there is a significant difference (p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: Nurses generally perceive themselves as sufficient at a ‘medium level’ in terms of meeting the core competencies that are required for disaster preparedness. Nurses are not adequately prepared for disasters, but they are aware of the need for such preparation and disaster education. Disaster management training should be given to all nurses in their basic education.

Keywords: disaster competencies, disaster management, disaster nursing, disaster preparedness, nursing, nursing administration, Turkish nurses

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282 Towards a Competence Management Approach Based on Continuous Improvement

Authors: N. Sefiani, C. Fikri Benbrahim, A. Boumane, K. Reklaoui

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Nowadays, the reflection on competence management is the basic for new competitive strategies. It is considered as the core of the problems of the global supply chain. It interacts a variety of actors: information, physical and activities flows, etc. Even though competence management is seen as the key factor for any business success, the existing approaches demonstrate the deficiencies and limitations of the competence concept. This research has two objectives: The first is to make a contribution by focusing on the development of a competence approach, based on continuous improvement. It allows the enterprise to spot key competencies, mobilize them in order to serve its strategic objectives and to develop future competencies. The second is to propose a method to evaluate the level of Collective Competence. The approach was confirmed through an application carried out at an automotive company.

Keywords: competence, competencies’ approach, competence management, continuous improvement, collective competence level, performance indicator

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281 Articulating Competencies Confidently: Employability in the Curriculum

Authors: Chris Procter

Abstract:

There is a significant debate on the role of University education in developing or teaching employability skills. Should higher education attempt to do this? Is it the best place? Is it able to do so? Different views abound, but the question is wrongly posed – one of the reasons that previous employability initiatives foundered (e.g., in the UK). Our role is less to teach than to guide, less to develop and more to help articulate: “the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lit” (Plutarch). This paper then addresses how this can be achieved taking into account criticism of employability initiatives as well as relevant learning theory. It discusses the experience of a large module which involved students being assessed on all stages of application for a live job description together with reflection on their professional development. The assessment itself adopted a Patchwork Text approach as a vehicle for learning. Students were guided to evaluate their strengths and areas to be developed, articulate their competencies, and reflect upon their development, moving on to new Thresholds of Employability. The paper uses the student voices to express the progress they made. It concludes that employability can and should be an effective part of the higher education curriculum when designed to encourage students to confidently articulate their competencies and take charge of their own professional development.

Keywords: competencies, employability, patchwork assessment, threshold concepts

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280 Generic Competences, the Great Forgotten: Teamwork in the Undergraduate Degree in Translation and Interpretation

Authors: María-Dolores Olvera-Lobo, Bryan John Robinson, Juncal Gutierrez-Artacho

Abstract:

Graduates are equipped with a wide range of generic competencies which complement solid curricular competencies and facilitate their access to the labour market in diverse fields and careers. However, some generic competencies such as instrumental, personal and systemic competencies related to teamwork and interpersonal communication skills, decision-making and organization skills are seldom taught explicitly and even less often assessed. In this context, translator training has embraced a broad range of competencies specified in the undergraduate program currently taught at universities and opens up the learning experience to cover areas often ignored due to the difficulties inherent in both teaching and assessment. In practice, translator training combines two well-established approaches to teaching/learning: project-based learning and genuinely cooperative – or merely collaborative – learning. Our professional approach to translator training is a model focused on and adapted to the teleworking context of professional translation and presented through the medium of blended e-learning. Teamwork-related competencies are extremely relevant, and they require explicit and implicit teaching so that graduates can be confident about their capacity to make their way in professional contexts. In order to highlight the importance of teamwork and intra-team relationships beyond the classroom, we aim to raise awareness of teamwork processes so as to empower translation students in managing their interaction and ensure that they gain valuable pre-professional experience. With these objectives, at the University of Granada (Spain) we have developed a range of classroom activities and assessment tools. The results of their application are summarized in this study.

Keywords: blended learning, collaborative teamwork, cross-curricular competencies, higher education, intra-team relationships, students’ perceptions, translator training

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279 The Study of Digital Transformation Skills and Competencies Framework at Umm Alqura University

Authors: Anod H. Alhazmi, Hanaa A. Yamani

Abstract:

The lack of digital transformation professionals could prevent Saudi Arabia’s universities from providing digital services. The task of understanding what digital skills are needed within an organization, measuring the existing skills, and developing or attracting talents is a complex task. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the digital transformation skills needed in the organizations who seek digital transformation and identifies the skills and competencies framework DigSC built on Skills Framework for the Informational Age (SFIA) framework that is adopted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in Saudi Arabia. The framework adopted identifies the main digital transformation skills clusters, categories and levels of responsibilities for each job description to fill the gap between this requirement and the digital skills supplied by the Umm Alqura University (UQU).

Keywords: competencies, digital transformation, framework, skills, Umm Alqura university

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278 Evaluating Effects of Health and Physical Maintenance on Academic Competencies of University Teachers in Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Badar Habib, Muhammad Shakir, Asif Ali, Muhammad Zia ul Haq

Abstract:

Purpose of the research is to examine the university teachers’ health and physical activities regarding their academic competencies. Major objectives of this piece research were (a) to identify health problems of teachers at university level that affects academic competencies of university teachers and (b) to evaluate educational betterment through physical balance. This research is descriptive in nature and questionnaire was used as source of collecting data. Population of the present research comprises teachers, professors and professionals teaching in the universities of Pakistan. 580 university teachers were selected as a population of the study. Random sampling technique was used to identify recipients. Data was feed and filter in Ms-Excel. In the light of the analysis of the study following findings were drawn out. This study found that the university teachers in Pakistan do not adopt proper physical exercise program. They were less interested to burn their extra calories and face diseases such as cramping, contraction of the muscles, diabetics and stomach diseases. This study recommends that seminars/workshops may be held by University establishment; to develop overall awareness among the teachers.

Keywords: evaluating effects of health and physical maintenance, academic competencies, university teachers, Pakistan

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277 Matching Human Competencies with Mobile Technology and Business Strategy in Women-Led SMEs

Authors: Deborah O. Ajumobi, Michael Kyobe

Abstract:

Studies show that women entrepreneurs are constrained and faced with challenges that inhibit the growth and performance of their businesses. However, with their human competencies, mobile technology and the appropriate business strategy, women-led SMEs can steer their businesses to better performance. While the need for SMEs to align these three elements has been suggested, there is limited knowledge on how SMEs can achieve this and no studies to the authors’ knowledge have examined this in women-led SMEs. This study therefore seeks to fill this gap by investigating how Women-led SMEs can best align these three elements to enhance business performance. In light of this, extensive literature review and theoretical work on the phenomenon has been conducted. Given the existence of the interplay between these three elements, we argue that the perspective of alignment as gestalts is most appropriate in determining the best way women-Led SMEs may align these aspects.

Keywords: women-led SMEs, human Competencies, mobile technology, business strategy, alignment

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276 EPD as Technical Competencies Acceleration Program in Developing New Talent at HR Directorate, Pertamina Ltd.

Authors: A. A. A. Indira Pratyaksa, Achmad Zaki

Abstract:

In every organization, there would be a demographic of young employees. They see themselves are the future leaders of the company. A special program needs to be prepared for them as a form of retention programs. Early Professional Program (EPD) must address challenges in the future. Aspects of the development of competence of young employees also become one of the answers in accelerating existing business processes. The role of the supervisor is the key success of EPD. Pertamina, thus, is better prepared to realize the vision and mission.

Keywords: young employee, competencies, development, leader, coaching

Procedia PDF Downloads 455