ITSHEC has started effectively and with a strong spirit of co-creation. We are finishing a deep phase of research about Transversal Skills, whose results will be the epistemic basis of all the tools and materials provided to students, teachers and the health and education community.

The spirit of research will permeate the project across the board, since research is one of the fundamental missions and values of ITSHEC. However, we are currently at its peak, so we want to share the first results and the tools and materials derived from them.


The Methodological Guide

The first Intellectual Output (IO1) of ITSHEC project is a Methodological Guide that will gather teaching-learning strategies for the development of students’ transversal skills (TS), specifically critical and creative thinking, interpersonal/socioemotional and citizen-oriented skills and learning to learn.

The IO1, which contemplates the development of this guide, is led by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, that is the project coordinator, and involves the participation of all the partners.

The Methodological Guide’s purpose is to systematize innovative practices that promote the development of students’ transversal skills in Higher Education, particularly in healthcare and social care. The guide will include both teaching-learning methodologies suitable for improving these competencies and the methodological aspects to be considered when the training goal is to foster the development of students’ transversal skills. Some examples of this teaching-learning methodologies are problem-based learning activities, role-playing situations or advanced simulation scenarios.

The main use of the methodological guide is to assist lecturers to plan, integrate into their teaching activity and evaluate the improvement of TS in undergraduate and postgraduate students.


A Pedagogical Framework for the Methodological Guide 

As an indispensable part of this guide, the Metropolia University is developing a pedagogical framework in context of competencies, regarding the three key transversal skills addressed in the project. Both the Methodological Guide and the Pedagogical Framework will support lecturers who strive to implement TS training in their subjects/modules.

The main purpose of the framework is to support the planning of training activities that specifically intend to work on TS. In that sense, this pedagogical framework aims to clarify and homogenate the definitions, dimensions, gradations and levels of this transversal skills development in healthcare and social care in higher education.

The project group has been working to define transversal skills based on the systematic literature review. For each skill, dimensions will be defined. For example, with respect to learning to learn, the dimensions could be defined as: learning to learn autonomously, in the community, or the information society. For each dimension, levels of skill development (graded from 1 to 5) will be established, and learning outcomes for each level will be created or adapted from pre-established learning outcomes in the higher education curriculum.

Additionally, a discussion of competencies of TS has been done, and finally, they have been defined based on the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EFQ) model. Also, the pedagogical framework is based on many different documents, like previous reports, studies, and pedagogical references as the Finnish Nation Framework for Qualifications (FiNQF level 7). 


Mapping the implementation of TS in health and social care education: an umbrella review 

In parallel, and in order to provide more theoretical consistency to our work, we are developing an umbrella review: “Review – Mapping the development and implementation of transversal skills critical thinking and creativity, interpersonal/socio-emotional skills and learning to learn, in health and social care in higher education: an umbrella review”.

This review will provide a better understanding of which and how TS have been implemented in health and social care programmes in higher education, but also elucidate the gaps in the approach to TS in higher education. The objective is to examine and systematically summarize the evidence from systematic reviews in order to give an overview of a pedagogical framework of transversal skills in health and social care at higher education level, with focus on these three skills.

The development of this review is in charge of Split University (UNIST) and the Pompeu Fabra University.

ITSHEC is just getting started but is already showing high-quality results. We look forward to making our investigations public. We will keep you informed of the news through our website and through our twitter account. Also, you can contact us by email if you have any questions or appreciations. We will be delighted to answer them.

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