Research on Enhancing Learners Development

The OnTheMIC project’s goal is to develop mechanisms and tools for the recognition and validation of prior learning. The main purpose of these tools is to identify and acknowledge learners’ capacities and capabilities for upskilling and reskilling. Through self-assessment tools, the project aims to support learners in acquiring micro-credentials that can help them identify their strengths and areas for development in the workforce.

Our research process commenced with a theoretical analysis of existing evaluation tests and the need for self-assessment tools. Subsequently, we conducted empirical research based on a survey targeting learners from the project’s participating countries: Finland, Germany, Iceland, Belgium, and Greece. We selected 30 learners from each country and administered a questionnaire to them. The survey aimed to comprehend how learners perceive self-assessment tests and the significance of such tests in their lives. We sought to gain a better understanding of learners’ perspectives regarding these tests.

The survey revealed that several learners between the ages of 20 and 40 consider self-assessment tests as an important tool for job advancement or securing better employment. This type of test provides valuable opportunities for individuals to recognize their strengths and areas for improvement, facilitating personal and professional development.

Based on the graph below in Picture 1, 63% of the learners discovered certain skills accidentally, while 27.9% responded “maybe,” indicating that they might have had similar experiences but were uncertain. Only 9.1% of the respondents answered “no.”


Accidentally discovered skills of learners

Picture 1: Accidentally discovered skills

Additionally, according to the diagram in Picture 2, the survey indicates that many learners aspire to enhance their soft skills. Consequently, it is crucial to explore ways to identify skills more easily. For pedagogues, it is important to understand how to assist learners in comprehending the specific soft skills they need to work on and provide resources and training to facilitate their improvement.


Efforts to Build the Missing Soft Skills to Learners

Picture 2:  Efforts to build the missing soft skills

These findings suggest that informal learning and mentorship can significantly contribute to skill development outside of formal educational settings. The results underscore the importance of continuous skill development and demonstrate the diverse methods individuals employ to seek and acquire new knowledge and abilities.

In our research, we also included questions about hobbies and the importance of hobby-related knowledge for learners and their careers. We obtained intriguing results from these inquiries. The diagram below in Picture 3, illustrates the learners’ interest in assessing their expertise in their hobbies. All learners expressed a desire to gauge their proficiency in their hobbies, indicating an interest in understanding their level of expertise.


Rating Professionalism in the Hobby of Learners

Picture 3: rate the professionalism in the hobby

The survey data also emphasized the significance of aiding learners in identifying areas for improvement. Providing resources and tools for individuals to evaluate their proficiency in their hobbies can be a valuable means of engaging and motivating them to pursue their passions further. Increased awareness of one’s own skills enables individuals to identify areas where improvement is needed and seek advice on further skill development.

The survey data revealed that a majority of the collaborating learners expressed their willingness to attend seminars and workshops to enhance their skills, with many already having a clear plan in mind for doing so.

Furthermore, it is essential to bear in mind that self-assessment tests have limitations and may not provide a complete picture of an individual’s talents and abilities. Despite this, self-assessment tests serve as valuable tools for learners to gain a better understanding of their skills and knowledge, enabling informed decisions regarding personal and professional growth.

Therefore, it is recommended that individuals employ self-assessment tests in conjunction with other evaluation methods. The survey findings also highlighted that learners can recognize their informal skills through life experiences, videos, web challenges, and other informal learning opportunities.

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