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Third OECD AHELO report on HE learning outcomes

VU International News and Reviews No. 17 November 11 2013

November 2013

In October, OECD published the 3rd and final report of the AHELO pilot project on the assessment of higher education learning outcome.

The AHELO project aimed for a Value-Added-Analysis, which estimates the contributions of individual institutions to the academic progress their students make during their period of enrolment, adjusting for differences in the institutional contexts and in their students’ prior academic achievements.

This approach relates a student’s current test performance (the criterion) to a combination of prior academic achievement, demographic characteristics and other contextual variables not under the control of the institution. Roughly speaking, the portion of the variation between institutions/programmes in their students’ current test results that is not accounted for by the predictors is then attributed to the institutions/programmes. The report gives a comprehensive overview of VAA approaches in countries with extensive experience like the US, UK, Norway and Colombia.

Note: with this VAA approach, a full AHELO study will shed light on institutional effectiveness more than on the comparability of graduates’ competencies.

Report available through kees.kouwenaar@vu.nl.

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