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Use of conceptual models in self-evaluation of personal competences in learning and in planning for change


  • This research was carried out with support from the UK's Economic and Social Research Council Research Centre ‘Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies’, award number RES-594-28-0001.

Natasha Kersh, Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Email:

Karen Evans, Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Email:

Seppo Kontiainen, Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Email:

Howard Bailey, 2nCompass and Striding Out consultants. Email:


This paper demonstrates the use of conceptual modelling to assist with the competence development of adult learners with interrupted occupational and learning careers. The research introduces a self-evaluation approach used with a group of adult female students in the United Kingdom. The study aimed at increasing learners' awareness of the qualities and nature of their individual learning processes. The paper applies Kontiainen's dynamic concept analysis modelling method as a tool to assist individual students in the evaluation of their personal competences in learning. The findings of the current study suggest that providing adult learners with opportunities to evaluate their own competences may facilitate a process of making their skills visible to themselves as well as to their tutors and employers. This aims to increase their motivation to use and develop their competences. The paper provides an example and a demonstration of the self-evaluation process in action illustrated by two case studies.