Assessment reviews

More and more often, countries are undertaking national, regional and international learning assessments. The availability of information varies depending on the assessment. While some of the standardised international and regional assessments are very well documented, there is less material available about the assessments that are locally implemented or non-standardised.  

The GEM Centre recognises a need for a service that presents information, in particular evaluative information, about a range of learning assessments, and that stores and reports on the data from these assessments in a way that facilitates easy access to and effective use of that data. Given the often high costs of data collection activities, more use should be made of collected data.

Learning assessments at a glance

Use the link above to view a summary table of all the learning assessments that have been reviewed by the GEM Centre to date. For each reviewed assessment a PDF summary pamphlet can be downloaded.

Citizen-led assessments: Evaluation reports

Use the link above to read about the review of four citizen-led assessments: Annual Status of Education Report (ASER, India), Beekunko (Mali), Jàngandoo (Senegal), and Uwezo (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda).

Review of international assessments

Use the link above to download the report 'A Review of International Large-Scale Assessments in Education'. Authored by John Cresswell, Ursula Schwantner and Charlotte Waters for the Centre for Global Education Monitoring as part of the PISA for Development project, the report reviews major international, regional and national large-scale learning assessments. The report, commissioned by the OECD and the World Bank, compares the component skills and cognitive instruments used, the contextual frameworks and instruments applied, and the implementation of the different international and regional assessments. Approaches to include out of school children, as well as ways in which data are used, are also discussed.

PISA for Development: Enhancement of PISA cognitive instruments

A technical review conducted by Ray Adams and John Cresswell for the Centre for Global Education Monitoring as part of the PISA for Development project examines methodological issues of appropriately targeting PISA assessment instruments in order to gain precise measures of student's capacity in developing countries. The findings of this work are presented in an OECD Education Working Paper. The main observations resulting from the review concern the appropriateness of the current PISA assessment frameworks, the PISA standard of testing in the language of instruction, and the involvement of countries in test development activities. Core technical issues observed address different item-functioning for developing countries and potential severe implications for the validity of described scales and construct comparability more generally. The appropriateness of the existing PISA item pool for the use in developing countries is examined on the basis of item difficulty levels, measurement precision, and information profile. Implications arising from drawing on a limited range of easy items only are discussed in the light of framework coverage, test design, described proficiency levels in reading, trends over time, and comparability across countries. Another important observation relates to testing 15-year-olds who are not enrolled in school. The authors also discuss possible ways to tackle these challenges in order to enhance the relevance of PISA for developing countries.