Assessing the relevance of higher education courses
The establishment of the European Higher Education Area has involved specifying lists of professional competencies that programs are expected to develop, and with this the need for procedures to measure how every course within a higher education program is aligned with the program¿s competencies. We propose an instrument for characterizing this alignment, a process that we call assessing the relevance of a course. Using information from the course syllabus (objectives, contents and assessment scheme), our instrument produces indicators for characterizing the syllabus in terms of a competence list and for assessing its coherence. Because assessment involves quality, the results obtained can also be used to revise and improve the course syllabus. We illustrate this process with an example of a methods course from a mathematics teacher education program at a Spanish university.