Double-Dipping: Teaching Course Content and 21st Century Competencies

Charles Brown, Joshua Foster and Mark Yates
Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama

Educators are being asked to revolutionize instructional practice to teach the content of their discipline, and simultaneously engender the development of 21st Century Competencies in college graduates.  Accordingly, our students should not perceive themselves as repositories for the products of learning, but rather perceive themselves as “academic triathletes” committed to the process of life-long-learning.  Furthermore, our graduates are expected to transfer their knowledge across disciplinary boundaries to successfully address problems in completely novel, unfamiliar, domains. That is, our students should be ready to excel in a career that has yet to be invented. 

The National Research Council has encouraged educators to promote the development of 21st competencies by interweaving skill development exercises into the content of the course.  In harmony with this initiative we have developed electronic formative assessment tools for an introductory psychology eBook to promote the development of three core competencies.

We show how these assessment tools are designed to help prepare students for the 21st century.