Skills and Competencies as Representable Meta-knowledge for Tele-learning Design by Gilbert Paquette cirta-licef research Center

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Giving an operational meaning to competency profiles

We present here a process to analyze a group of existing of competency statements or to build them in a standard way. This process contains following sub-processes:

  • determine one or several target actors for which the competency is defined;

  • identify the tasks of these actors, as well as the corresponding knowledge and represent them in a knowledge model;

  • identify the skills required by the actors to be applied to the knowledge.

To illustrate this process, we will use as a case study a competency profile of a multimedia director resulting from a general analysis of the domain of multimedia trades having lead to fourteen actor definitions and their corresponding competency profiles12.

Figure 6 – A multimedia competency profile representation and raw data analysis results

Figure 6 shows part of a competency model we have built in MOT+, each individual competency statement being defined by an its actor, skill and knowledge components. Here the statement would read “A multimedia director must be able to elaborate a production method for a multimedia project”. There are of course other competency statements like this in the model. Furthermore, the model is linked to description of qualities required for the job and a task description that will help identify sub-skills for this job profile.

A knowledge model for this domain is essentially procedural based on the tasks definition, but it can be completed by concepts and principles required to achieve the tasks. In this model, three main processes must be governed by the multimedia director: the elaboration of the method of production, the management of the creation / production process and the quality control of the product. The first of this process is presented on figure 7.

The central task of this model is to elaborate a method of production and a definition of the project from expectations and requirements of the customer. Besides this knowledge, it requires from the multimedia director the use of knowledge on the technical and graphic feasibility of the project, on the production steps of a multimedia project, on the possible audio-visual support, on the tools for multimedia creation on PC, MAC AND UNIX, on various approaches to develop, implement and deliver a Web site and finally, on the use, potential and limits of the Internet and multimedia technologies .

To each kind of knowledge, we can associate a skill selected from our taxonomy. For example, for the production method, a suited skill is " to construct", for the definition of the project, "to plan ", and so on.

igure 7 – Sub-skills identification for a main competency statement for a multimedia director

Table 6 presents the overall result of this competency analysis process. It shows the initial competency statement we started from, the reformulation that results from our analysis, and the decomposition of each statement in a standard interpretation. This interpretation now has a precise meaning given by the definition and the meta-models in the skills taxonomy. These can be used for instructional design or other purpose. Also, the process has revealed missing or ill-defined competency statements.

Competency statement


Initial formulation




Parent skill

Knowledge component

Discovered through the process

Model a production method



8- Synthesize

Production method

Discovered through the process

Plan a project definition



8- Synthesize

Project definition

Capacity to evaluate the technical and graphical feasibility of a project

Evaluate the technical and graphical feasibility of a project





Technical and graphical feasibility of a project

Knowledge of each production step

Simulate a production process



5- Apply

Production steps

Knowledge of audio-visual support

Discriminate between properties of audio-visual support



3- Instanciate

Properties of audio-visual support

Knowledge of the use, potential and limits of Internet and multimedia technologies

Transpose in the project the use, potential and limits of Internet and multimedia technologies





Use, potential and limits of Internet and MM technologies

Superficial knowledge of multimedia creation tools (PC/Mac/Unix)

Explicitate the main properties of multimedia creation tools (PC/Mac/Unix)



3- Instanciate

Main properties of multimedia creation tools (PC/Mac/Unix)

Knowledge on approaches to develop, implement and deliver a web site

Transpose to the project a useful way to develop, implement and deliver a web site

Transpose in a useful way




Approaches to develop, implement and deliver a web site

Table 6 – Standard interpretation of competency statements from a meta-knowledge point of view
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