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A Competency Model for Process Dynamics and Control and Its Use for Test Construction at University Level

Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 90, No. 4

Päivi H. Taskinen, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Jochen Steimel, TU Dortmund University

Linda Grafe, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Sebastian Engell, TU Dortmund University

Andreas Frey, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

This study examined students’ competencies in engineering education at the university level. First, we developed a competency model in one specific field of engineering: process dynamics and control. Then, the theoretical model was used as a frame to construct test items to measure students’ competencies comprehensively. In the empirical application, the reliability of the test was examined. The results confirmed the applicability of the theory-based test. Also, associations between students’ competencies and individual characteristics were explored. Students who showed higher competencies could be identified based on their individual characteristics, such as participation in self-assessments. Finally, we demonstrated how to apply the standards of theory-based testing to everyday routines at the university and also highlighted some challenging issues to be considered when implementing theory-based testing in practice. This approach could be valuable: Tests based on theoretically sound models allow for appropriate measurement of students’ competencies in higher education.