A strategy to monitor learning is needed to improve learning outcomes and education quality over time. Educational planners may consider how to ensure that activities, outputs, and objectives are accomplished; what kinds of data to collect to track education quality and learning outcomes; and how and when will the information be collected and analysed? Here are 10 tips to help planners get started in developing their monitoring strategy:
Quality and learning indicators
1. 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 is missing, and how could it be obtained?
2. Develop indicators that can provide robust information on how and what students are learning, as well as the aspects of education quality that can affect learning.
3. Determine how learning is currently assessed, and how these assessments serve different purposes in different contexts.
Designing a national assessment
4. Consider how to take advantage of existing regional, citizen-led, and international assessment tools to further develop national assessment capacity and help benchmark students’ level of learning achievement.
5. 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.
Developing a monitoring framework
6. Evaluate the potential of other monitoring tools —such as school census and educational management information system (EMIS), inspections, public expenditure tracking surveys (PETS), school report cards, and data mapping—for monitoring the many education quality issues that affect students’ learning.
7. Based on your country’s education goals, develop a monitoring framework designed to monitor quality and development at different levels and for different target groups.
8. Analyse 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.
9. Plan how the different data collection and other monitoring activities will be implemented, by whom, and when.
Using the data to improve quality
10. Ensure that the work that goes into developing indicators and measuring education quality is put to use: analyse, communicate, and employ the data to further develop strategies for improving learning outcomes.