Proceedings of The 4th International Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education
The Human Skills Matrix as a Tool for Teacher Self-Reflection: A Case Study
Dr. Hilda Freimuth
University instructors are often tasked with annual self-reflections to improve their teaching and courses. The Human Skills Matrix (HSM), developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), consists of 24 soft skills needed for success in the 21st century work environment and can serve as an alternative reflective tool for educators. This study focuses on the author’s development of a Likert scale of 55 questions for the matrix which was then used to assess a first-year university Academic English course. This reflective practice revealed that the course addressed only 16 out of the 24 soft skills of the matrix itself. With minor changes to the course, this number could be raised to 21 out of 24 skills. This would allow for 88% of total matrix coverage. Skills that needed further addressing in the course related to the concepts of creativity, entrepreneurship, ethics, empathy, self-awareness, strategic vision, project management, and performance management. Recommendations to improve the course include the addition of an IMRD project or paper, a problem-solution assignment, a student self-reflection, clear links to the university’s strategic vision in lessons and assignments, and student self-assessment of individual or group work.
keywords: self-reflection, course assessment, soft skills.