Analyzing and utilizing assessment data for better learning outcomes

Organisation(s): UNESCO Office Bangkok and Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific

Date: 2017

Pages: 76 p.

Serie: UNESCO Office Bangkok and Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific


Countries all across the globe are reaching to learning assessments as a way of improving educational outcomes. Whether through participation in international assessments such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) as well as in regional assessments such as the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) and Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM), or national assessment programmes, countries are investing more and more resources in assessing their learners. In addition to the results and scores, the type and use of data that is collected can have a profound impact on the performance of education systems. Data collected ranges from background information on students, teachers, school heads, and households to the content and outcomes of learning. Yet in many cases, much of this data is underutilized and underreported. Not only is learning assessment data underutilized, but so is data drawn from school surveys and inspections, teacher assessments and evaluations, and other information collected by Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) at the national level. As a result, the use of education-related ‘big data’ for evidence-based policy-making is limited, partly due to insufficient institutional capacity of countries to analyze such data and link assessment results to policy-making. Many countries therefore rely on research findings from learning assessments conducted in other countries and regions, even though these findings may not be relevant to their education systems or their country context.

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