Post-print of Morgan, C 2003, 'Developing and assessing generic skills at a distance', Staff and Educational Development International, December.
This paper explores the challenges of developing and assessing generic and vocational skills in distance learning. It is argued that distance learning is a somewhat neglected issue in the literature of generic and transferable skills, as most discussions assume a classroom context, where many key skills are able to be modelled, practiced and assessed with the observation and oversight of a teacher. How do we know our distance learners are developing skills in areas such as collaboration and teamwork when they work largely in isolation from their peers? Can we be assured that students have gained vital information retrieval and management skills, when all their core learning materials are pre-packaged and supplied to them? What can we say of their oral communication skills when all assessments and communications have been conducted by pen and paper or with computer mediation?