Assessing transversal competencies for the future of graduate work: An adaptation of the Multiple Mini-Interviews method.

TitleAssessing transversal competencies for the future of graduate work: An adaptation of the Multiple Mini-Interviews method.
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSantos, S, Freire, C, Barbosa, I, Figueiredo, H, Costa, MJoão
Conference Name13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Date Publishednovember
Conference LocationSeville, Spain

The job market places increasing value on graduates’ transversal competencies such as working in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams. In accordance, the development of transversal competencies is nowadays a learning goal across Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). An assessment is needed to determine students’ competencies throughout their learning journey and at conclusion of their graduate studies (Bachelor and/ or Master degree). This paper aims to present an answer to this challenge and describe the adaptation of the Multiple Mini-Interviews (MMI) method (internationally used for the assessment of transversal competencies in Healthcare education selection procedures), to assess transversal competencies of graduate students from several education areas, focusing on different work contexts. The steps for the adaptation of the MMI method included the mapping of the relevant competencies for the future of work, followed by a group brainstorming for the scenarios’ construction, the selection of scenarios to be tested, the definition of the assessment criteria and scale, the assessors’ and simulated human characters’ training and calibration, and the preparation of the pilot study. This adaptation process resulted in a MMI circuit with 10 stations, each one aimed at assessing three or four of the following transversal competencies: problem solving, generation of novelty, open mindset, learning to learn, positive professional attitude, teamwork, communication, leadership and market orientation. A 10-point Likert scale and criteria for performance assessment were developed and included in a manual for the MMI application to guide interviewers and simulated human characters, who participated in a training process to foster the understanding of the MMI method and the improvement of the MMI method materials. This was the first step towards the construction of a method aimed at supporting HEIs in the assessment of their students’ transversal competencies profile, their readiness for the transition for the labour market and, potentially, in the identification of gaps for improvement.

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