Competence Based Education

When participating in competence based education you build your own personal study path. You begin by assessing your own current competence. This self-assessment requires you to place your competence in the framework of the goal competences and criteria set for this education.

Self-assessment is part of your personal study plan (PSP) where you document and describe your competence, your development areas and where you also reflect on means to acquire competences and how to demonstrate you competences. Your tutor will help and support you in this work. It is essential that you reflect on your learning and competences through out your entire teacher education programme.

Process of competence based teacher education.JPG

Process of competence based teacher education

  • Recognizing and Acknowledgement of Your Competences

    The recognition and acknowledgement of your competences is based on the competence goals and competence assessment criteria. When recognizing your competences it is important that you use self-assessment to compare the competence goals with the competences you have, with what you already know and can do. The competences you already have will be acknowledged as part of your studies. When necessary, you will amend your competences. Your tutor will guide you during your studies and is also responsible for the acknowledgement of your competences.

    With your tutor you will agree on the methods of demonstrating your competence. It is possible to identify your competences to belong to one particular competence goal or it can cover an entire competence area. To receive acknowledgement of your competence requires reliable documentation and demonstration of your competence.

  • Means of Developing and Demonstrating Your Competence

    There are many ways to develop your competence. You can participate in the teaching and tutorials of your group, you can do independent study, teaching practise or a development project in your own work. You can demonstrate your competence during the contact days, in your own work place, with different documents or in other ways of your choice. The different methods will be presented in detail in your study group.

  • Assessing Competence

    You develop your competences towards the competence goals described in the curriculum bearing in mind the assessment criteria for each competence goal. When you think that your competence matches the goals and the criteria you ask your tutor to recognize your competence. Recognition process means that your competence will be officially recognized and that you will receive the acknowledgement in the form of credits.

    Your tutor will review your competence demonstrations and makes a decision about the recognition and acknowledgement of your competence. This decision is based on display of skills or documentation which you provide, and it has to be reliable and you have to be able to validate it. Your competence will be acknowledged when you can demonstrate that you have achieved the competence goals and fulfilled the assessment criteria. In case your competence cannot be recognized your tutor will ask you to amend and develop your competence. Your tutor will register your acknowledged competence in your transcript within three weeks of the assessment irrespective of whether the competence has been attained before or during the studies at the School of Professional Teacher Education.

    In case you have done the basic studies module in educational science, adult education or special needs pedagogy before your studies at the School Professional Teacher Education and a copy certifying this was included among your application documents to our school, the recognition and acknowledgement of your studies will be done based on the documentation you have provided.

    What is assessed? What are the criteria?

    The objects of assessment are the competence areas and competence goals described in the curriculum.

    The assessment criteria define and concretisize what kind of competence is adequate under each competence area.

    The competence areas of professional teacher education, professional special needs teacher education and study counsellor education

    The study modules of the different professional teacher education programmes are integrated into competence areas, which have been defined and described in the competence goals and assessment criteria. The study units and competence areas will be carried out and assessed primarily based on the latest study plan.

    The purpose and role of assessment

    The purpose of assessment is to support student’s professional development in line with the competence goals. You have the right to oral or written feed-back on your competence. The assessment is equal, trustworthy, development oriented and supporting. The assessment of competence compares your demonstration of competence with the competence goals and assessment criteria set for the different competence areas. Your competence is acknowledged after you demonstrate that you have achieved the competence goals according to the assessment criteria.

    Ensuring the equality of assessment

    • Competence goals and assessment criteria is discussed with the students.
    • Assessment is based on clearly defined common and equal competence goals and assessment criteria. This helps the student to recognize which competences s/he should develop and which competences s/he possibly already has. If necessary the assessment criteria connected with each competence area will be amended.
    • Competence must be demonstrated and assessed in relation to every competence goal.
    • Assessment is supported by the ”Assessment Triangle” created by Oulu School of Professional Teacher Education.
    • In a situation of assessment dispute additional assessors can be increased and external assessors can be invited to participate. In case differing assessment outcomes the final decision is made in the benefit of the student.
    • A student wishing to have the assessment result contested can apply for a rectification of the assessment following the instructions published by the Oulu School of Professional Teacher Education (see under “Rectifying Assessment”).

    Assessment procedures

    • Every student has a personal study plan. When assessing a student’s competence the assessment is done by comparing the student’s competence to the competence goals and to the assessment criteria, not to other students.
    • The assessment of competence takes into account the individuality of each student. Every student has their personal way of carrying out teaching and guidance to achieve the competence goals.
    • In demonstrating and assessing competence the differences in professional orientation and career planning of students are taken into account. In teaching and guidance work the primary focus is on the student’s competence in his/her type of educational institution and education level.
    • In assessing the competence, the tutors assure that
      • the competence of the student is in line with the competence goals and assessment criteria (validity)
      • the competence of the student is adequate and covers all competence goals (adequacy)
      • the documentation used in demonstrating competence is genuine or produced by the student him/herself (authenticity)
      • the assessment of the competence is not affected by the assessor (reliability)
      • the demonstration of competence focuses on currently relevant competences using currently relevant technologies (up-to-date).

        Kallberg, K. (2009). Aiemman osaamisen tunnustamisen lähtökohtia ammattikorkeakoulussa. Teoksessa P.
        Haltia & R. Jaakola (Toim.), Osaaminen esiin. Näkökulmia tunnistamiseen ja
        tunnustamiseen (s. 14–36). Haaga-Helian julkaisusarja.
        Puheenvuoroja 5/2009. Viitattu 13.10.2022. Osaaminen esiin -näkökulmia tunnistamiseen ja tunnustamiseen (

    Registering credits

    • The tutor(s) who has assessed the competence register the assessed competence in OSSI under the relevant competence goals (students who have started before 1.6.2018 agree separately with the tutor about the procedure). The tutor(s) will record in OSSI how, where and when the demonstration of competence has been done, what the assessment is based on and the names of the people who participated in the assessment.
    • After an entire competence area or course has been demonstrated, assessed and recognised credits are recorded in the study administration Peppi -platform. The recorded data includes the name of the competence area or course, scope, grade, date and in case of recognition of prior learning also the original date when the course was passed/registered and the original institution.

    Amending an assessment

    A student who wishes to appeal for a correction of an assessment can request a reassessment from the tutor who made the original assessment. An oral or written appeal must be made within 14 days of the date when the student has had the opportunity to access the assessment result. In the Oulu School of Professional Teacher Education the amendment appeal is first processed with the Head of the School of Professional Teacher Education followed by a meeting of the administrative team including the tutor and the director of the School. In case the student wishes to appeal further s/he can make a written appeal to the Board of Examiners of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences within 14 days of the decision by the administrative team. Board of Examiners' work procedure is governed by its by-laws.