Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on New Trends in Teaching and Education
Using the Human Skills Matrix for Course Evaluation: A Comparative Study
Hilda Freimuth, Richard Walter
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. This study used this matrix as a tool to evaluate an Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at a university in the United Arab Emirates. The findings were then compared to an earlier study from another course (Academic English) at a different university in the United Arab Emirates. This study used the same Likert scale questionnaire developed from the matrix for the Academic English study. The Academic English course had 102 students enrolled in it while the Innovation and Entrepreneurship course had just over 200 registrants. Results indicate that the Innovation and Entrepreneurship course addressed more of the skills on the matrix (19 out of 24) than the Academic English course (16 out of 24). Where the Innovation and Entrepreneurship course was stronger in skills related to thinking and leadership, the Academic English course fared better in skills related to communication and management of self. Both courses shared weaknesses in skills related to ethics, project management, and the understanding of the university’s strategic vision. Suggestions are made for both courses to strengthen the skills in this area.