Investigating 21st Century Skills in STEM Higher Education: Perceptions of Technion Students and Alumni


Event Date & Time

  • September 5, 2019
    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Event Description

The present era is characterized by increasing interconnectedness and labor automation. These changes raise the need for a new set of skills, often named 21st century skills, which are especially required in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Various organizations have recognized the importance of developing these skills; however, studies have found that some STEM higher education institutions have not done enough to foster their students’ 21st century skills. We investigate 21st century skill development in STEM higher education by designing an online questionnaire with senior management at the Technion and administered it to 1,578 participants—939 alumni and 649 final-year students. The questionnaire focused on 14 skills and included open and closed-ended items. We found these skills can be divided into three groups: (1) domain-general thinking skills, (2) soft skills, and (3) STEM-specific skills. Participants perceived the first group of skills to have developed more than the second group, and the second group more than the third. We found participants with a graduate degree perceived their soft skills to have developed more than participants with only an undergraduate degree from the same institution did. Lastly, we identified through content analysis of open responses nine methods of teaching and learning through which all 14 skills had developed. Our analysis shows that course assignments, projects, laboratory experiments, and research helped develop more skills than any other method, and particularly soft skills. Our approach and insights toward matching 21st century skills with specific methods of teaching and learning may benefit researchers, policy makers, and educators.

Presenter: Yehudit Judy Dori | Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, Haifa, Israel.

Yehudit Judy Dori is Full Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education in Science and Technology at the Technion and she is a Senior Researcher at the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, both in Haifa, Israel. Between 2000 and 2014, she has been intermittently Visiting Professor or Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, USA. Her research interests encompass learning in technology-rich environments, educational assessment, scientific visualizations, and metacognition at high school and university levels. Prof. Dori co-edited a book on Metacognition in Science Education, which was published by Springer in 2012, and she is the first editor of another book on Cognition, Metacognition, and Culture in STEM Education, published by Springer in 2018.

Venue: Earth Sciences Building (ESB) Room 5104 and 5106

This event is co-hosted by the Science Centre for Learning and Teaching (Skylight), the Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISoTL) and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT).

If you would like to meet with Judy, please email Sharon Lim <Sharon.Lim@ubc.ca>