Towards a global framework for measuring learning?


Over 900 participants from around the world joined the new IIEP Learning Portal’s first e-Forum, titled Inclusive and equitable quality education for all: Towards a global framework for measuring Learning? 

These registrants—34% of them from national agencies or ministries of education and 42% of them from sub-Saharan Africa, with every other continent also represented—brought diverse perspectives to bear on the question of what role learning assessments may play in the context of the new Education 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the course of the e-Forum participants shared their experiences and opinions on some of the key questions surrounding international and national learning assessments today. These different types of assessments serve different purposes. While international assessments are most useful for evaluating the effects of diverse national policies, national assessments are able to provide finer-grained analysis tailored to specific national characteristics and priorities. Here are seven takeaway points that arose from this global discussion:

  1. There is significant disagreement over whether an international assessment framework could be applicable to all countries.
  2. There are differing opinions on which competencies should be assessed, in either a national or international context.
  3. There is uncertainty about the role that digital literacy and technology should play in assessments.
  4. Participants were concerned with how international emphasis on learning assessments might affect national curricula and teacher practices.
  5. Developing effective assessments requires input from the regional, national, and even local levels.
  6. The most appropriate unit of analysis for an assessment depends on the assessment’s purposes.
  7. There is a need to build capacity to understand assessment approaches and accurately interpret and use assessment data.

Through the e-Forum, participants were invited to participate in a series of live interactive video presentations with experts from around the world, and they were also able to access a set of resources on international and national assessments, part of the IIEP Learning Portal’s large library of materials on issues relevant to planning for improved learning outcomes. This inaugural e-Forum showed the great promise that the IIEP Learning Portal holds for bringing together education decision-makers and other stakeholders from around the world, to think and plan together how to achieve quality education and improved learning outcomes.