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AHELO prints first results

The feasibility study launched in 2008 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (see for initial details the ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, August 2009), or AHELO in short, published this month its first set of results, as part of a wider release process which is supposed to continue over the coming 3 months. The study’s main aim was to investigate if it was possible, from both a scientific and practical point of view, to develop international learning outcomes in higher education that are valid not for individual higher education systems, but at the global level, and which could allow different countries to benchmark the performance of their students against that of students from other countries, in an effort for improvement.

The outcomes of the study are organised in three separate reports and an international conference. The first report, which was released this month, sheds light into the study’s design and implementation. The second report, scheduled for the coming month — February 2013 — will present the data analysis and the national experiences. The month of March will be devoted to the feasibility study conference, which is to take place in Paris on 11-12 March, while April will bring the third and last report, which will also include the conference proceedings.

The first report, available for free online, presents the general design of the study, as well as the impact the global financial crisis has had on the methodological approach. The volume also explains how the assessment instruments and the contextual surveys used within the study were developed. Last but not least, it shows how the instruments were implemented, “in real-life conditions”, to then conclude with the lessons learned from the study about the design and implementation stages.

AHELO – volume 1