Toward Universal Learning: Implementing Assessment to Improve Learning

In the run-up to 2015 and beyond, the global education community must work together to improve learning and propose practical actions to deliver and measure progress. In response, UNESCO through its Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution have co-convened the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF). The project’s main objective is to shift the focus of global education debates from access to access plus learning. Based on input from more than 1,700 people in 118 countries through technical working groups and global consultations, the task force made recommendations to help countries and international organizations measure and improve learning outcomes for children and youth worldwide.

Highlights

  • To build technical capacity, the task force recommended the development of indicators and tools in the seven areas of measurement and the establishment of quality assurance mechanisms to evaluate them.
  • The task force agreed that the process of improving institutional capacity should be country-owned and country driven and should build on existing efforts.

  • The task force acknowledged the need to promote a culture of learning assessment at the global, national, and grassroots level in order to garner political support. 

  • The task force acknowledged the need to promote a culture of learning assessment at the global, national, and grassroots level in order to garner political support. 

In the third and final phase, the task force examined how countries assess learning, how assessment results are used, the specific needs of countries to measure learning and the use of assessments to improve the quality of education. The task force also investigated the feasibility of a multi-stakeholder partnership that could bring together existing efforts to support countries to measure and improve learning. In recognition of the high demand from stakeholders to take advantage of the momentum built thus far, the task force agreed to transition into its next stage of work, LMTF 2.0, in order to focus on implementing the recommendations.

The major findings of phase three in the LMTF consultation process are presented in its third report, Toward Universal Learning: Implementing Assessment to Improve Learning, which outlines the key technical, institutional and political support countries need to develop and sustain robust assessments of learning that can help inform improvements in policy and practice with the ultimate goal of measuring learning in order to improve the learning experiences and outcomes of students.