Please note that this course has concluded, although its content remains available for perusal. You can access the modules by enrolling in the course and clicking the "Modules" tab above; however, it is no longer possible to receive the course badge, the module badges, or the course certificate. Finally, please note that support for this course is no longer provided by the course instructors or the Teacher Academy team.


This course is intended for teachers and other educational professionals interested in competence-based education. The course aims to provide you with a thorough introduction to the topic, as well as make you aware of the issues and challenges related to making competence-based education a reality in the classroom. Furthermore, teachers will be given concrete tips on how to implement project-based learning, a particularly suitable method for delivering competence-based education, as well as on how to assess this type of collaborative learning.

Module 1 will provide you with an introduction to the topic, looking at the importance and definition of competences as well as international frameworks; how competences are understood, expressed and implemented in various countries across Europe; and the main teaching and assessment methods associated to this approach.

Module 2 will look at practical ways in which teachers can use project-based learning techniques in the classroom and beyond to develop their pupils’ competences across a variety of subjects and skills. Inspiring examples from across Europe will be provided, and possible solutions to challenges explored. There will be a special focus on how to best develop students' collaborative problem-solving skills within project-based learning.

Finally, Module 3 will help you understand the assessment methods which are most suitable to competence-based approaches to learning, and will provide you with concrete advice on how to implement these various methods and in which contexts. An Irish case study will provide participants with an inspiring example of how Ireland introduced competence-based assessment in Mathematics. This module will also give participants the opportunity to learn more about assessing an important transversal skill explored in module 2 - collaborative problem solving.

This course has been designed to improve your competences, so that you can in turn develop those of the young people you teach, work with or on behalf of. We also encourage you to already join us on our course Facebook group and to share any thoughts, questions or ideas linked to the course via Twitter using #21skillscourse.

Upon completion of the course, participants are awarded a digital certificate and digital badges.

The course is entirely free and is organised as a MOOC-type course, allowing anyone to join. The course was developed as part of the KeyCoNet project on the European Schoolnet Academy, Europe's first MOOC platform for teachers, and will be offered in a 2nd iteration on the School Education Gateway. 

List of modules

Course Introduction

Start date: 19/09/2016 13:01

End date: 16/10/2024 12:20

Module 1: Introducing Competences for 21st Century Schools Module 1: Introducing Competences for 21st Century Schools

Start date: 19/09/2016 13:01

End date: 16/10/2023 23:59

Module 2: Teaching Key Competences through Project Based Learning Module 2: Teaching Key Competences through Project Based Learning

Start date: 26/09/2016 10:01

End date: 16/12/2023 23:59

Module 3: Assessing Key Competences Module 3: Assessing Key Competences

Start date: 03/10/2016 11:01

End date: 16/10/2023 23:59

To join the course, please first register or log in to the School Education Gateway.

Start date

Monday, 19th September 2016


This course lasts 4 weeks and requires around 3-4 hours of your time each week

Target Audience

Anybody is welcome to join the course but it is targeted at teachers and other educational professionals interested in competence-based education


The successful completion of each Module will earn you a digital badge. All participants which earn all 3 module digital badges as well as partake in each learning activity, will also be awarded with a digital certificate at the end of the course.

Course moderators

Aikaterini Topalidou
Bart Verswijvel
Benjamin Hertz
Caroline Kearney
Nair Carrera