Once a plan for improving learning has been developed, planners need to ask themselves: How will we monitor whether these activities, outputs, and objectives are accomplished? What kinds of data will we collect in order to see whether we are improving our education quality and students’ learning outcomes? and, How and when will this information be collected and analysed?
In order to accomplish improved learning outcomes, education decision-makers need to develop a strategy to Monitor Learning and use that data to systematically advance education quality over time. Here are 10 Tips to help planners get started in developing their monitoring strategy:
Quality and Learning Indicators
- Evaluate to what extent education decision-makers currently have access to data and analyses regarding students’ learning, including trends, strengths, weaknesses, and their causes. What information are they missing, and how could it be obtained?
- Develop indicators that can give planners robust information on how and what students are learning, as well as the aspects of education quality that can impact learning. For ideas on which factors could be measured, see the collection of Improve Learning articles.
- Determine how learning is currently being assessed, and how these assessments serve different purposes in different contexts.
- Consider how to take advantage of existing regional, citizen-led, and international assessment tools to further develop national assessment capacity and help benchmark your students’ level of learning achievements.
- Assess the quality of current national learning assessments and determine whether additional technical expertise is needed in order to gather valid and reliable learning data over time.
Other Monitoring Tools
- Evaluate the potential of other monitoring tools—such as school census and EMIS, inspections, public expenditure tracking surveys, school report cards, and data mapping—for monitoring the many education quality issues that affect students’ learning.
Developing a Monitoring Framework
- Develop a monitoring framework that is based on your country’s goals for the education system, and that is designed to monitor quality and development at different levels and for different target groups.
- Analyze, in particular, what needs to be improved in the current monitoring and evaluation system in order to gather more complete and robust data that can serve education decision-makers in their efforts to improve learning.
- Plan how the different data collection and other monitoring activities will be implemented, by whom, and when. Completing a monitoring and evaluation plan template can be useful for this process.
Using the Data for Systemic Quality Improvement
- Ensure that all of the detailed work that goes into developing and measuring education quality indicators is put to use: analyse it, communicate it, and employ it in order to develop strategies for improving learning outcomes.
When robust data on learning and education quality is regularly collected, and is systematically used to inform education planners’ decisions, it is possible to achieve great improvements in learning outcomes over time. For a more in-depth look at how to develop indicators, tools, and systems for monitoring learning, see our Monitor Learning articles. You can also search for further resources in the IIEP Learning Portal Library.