View access skills for a programme

The final tab on the programme planning toolkit is the access skills tab.  Similarly to the mapping tab, it is reflective and requires data from teachers before it makes sense.

Access skills (sometimes called soft-skills or supporting skills) are qualities which may be hidden when designing an assessment or class activity.  For example, Gerard really does know how lightbulbs work, and if we ask him to write an essay explaining it, he’ll get a great mark because he’s good at writing essays.  However, if we ask him to give a presentation on the same topic, he’ll get a terrible mark because he’s not good at public speaking and so cannot adequately demonstrate his understanding.  Access skills are just are important to teaching activities as they are to assessments, and the Compass database holds these relationships too.


Teachers have the opportunity to use the paper planning toolkit to align their assessments, activities and to surface the access skills on which they depend.  These access skills are then shown to the programme designers who, with their overview of the entire programme, can then see where the skills are first used and might need additional support.

The access skills tab (a) contains a summary table of the skills relied on throughout the programme, broken down in time.  Clicking on any of the skills labels (b) will open an information page about that skill, and clicking on one of the paperset names (c) will open a popup of the paper instances and the assessments which they use.  From here, there’s another link to more information about the skill (d), and the planning page of the paper instances will be launched by clicking on the semester name (e).

After seeing where access skills are needed first in a programme, you can let teachers know by creating appropriate milestone statements in those papers.