Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills

Did you miss the course when it ran in 2014? Now you can join up for the next offering. Learn about ways to assess and teach new and emerging 21st century skills: we cover the nature of these skills, methods of assessment, interpretation and reporting of assessments, and their implications for teaching.

About The Course

Education and work are changing as a result of technology and its influence in the workplace. We now have new ways of working, new tools for working, new ways of living and even new ways of thinking as a result of the influence of technology on life, work and leisure.

In the workplace, more workers are needed in multi-tasking, information and communications-based employment. Entrants to workplaces need skills to function effectively in this environment that have not traditionally been taught in our schools and universities. In this course, we identify some of these complex skills, and select one to examine in detail - collaborative problem solving - that combines both cognitive and social aspects and requires the ability to use and build knowledge. It is widely regarded by industry as one of the skills lacking in young people and graduates as they struggle to secure stable employment. In some countries the unemployment rates of graduates exceeds 50%. The new skills - often erroneously called soft skills - are not being developed in schools or universities and in many cases when they are, there is uncertainty regarding how to assess and teach them.

In times of great change, when uncertainties dominate thinking about education and work, the result is often a paralysis in education and a reversion to rudimentary approaches to assessment that fail to inform directed learning and teaching. In this course we will focus on the nature of 21st century skills and their assessment, with a link to teaching styles and approaches suitable for a classroom in the 21st century.

Frequently Asked Questions

What resources will I need?
An internet connection is necessary. There are no prescribed texts for the course - materials will be linked to each session as appropriate.

Will I get a certificate after completing this course?
Verified Certificates are available through the Signature Track option. Eligible students may be able to apply for the Coursera Financial Aid program.

Do I earn University of Melbourne credits upon completion of this class?
No. The Verified Certificate is not part of a formal qualification from the University. However, it may be useful to demonstrate prior learning and interest in your subject to a higher education institution or potential employer.

Do I need teaching experience?
No teaching experience is necessary. An interest in and concern for schooling is all that is needed. We anticipate that practising teachers will find this class rewarding.

Do I have to log in to participate at specific times?
No, you are able to log in and participate when convenient to you. Course materials are released sequentially. You can complete activities each week when convenient. Quizzes and assignments have specific due dates and times so you will need to comply with these if you wish to pass the course. The course is scheduled for the 6 week period as this means that a large number of students will be completing the course at one time which leads to richer interaction between students.

What computer equipment or browser do I need?
We recommend you have a look at the Coursera technical specifications and check your compatibility. If you have any technical issues, such as being unable to access the ‘Join this course’ link, then please see this site in the first instance.

Recommended Background

No background knowledge or skills are required, though we recommend an interest in teaching and learning in schools, curiosity about the future of schooling, and willingness to try out new things.