The assessment of ‘wicked’ competences

Knight, Peter and Page, Anna (2007). The assessment of ‘wicked’ competences. Practice-based Professional Learning Centre, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, The Open University.


Empirical and other enquiries indicate that the assessment of ‘wicked’ competences is problematic. This is unfortunate since ‘wicked’ competences include ‘soft skills’ and other attitudes, skills and dispositions that are highly valued by employers.

Empirical evidence that there are, in fact, few problems in the assessment of ‘wicked’ competences may indicate that there is a problem of ‘false consciousness’, with practitioners simply not seeing how limited their assessment plans are. If that is the case, then not only is there a problem of improving assessment, there is also a far bigger problem in helping colleagues to appreciate that current practices may have pragmatic value but have very limited value as scientific descriptions of achievement and competence.

Colleagues are invited to join in further research and design activities by contacting Anna Page in the first instance.

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