HEQCO releases results of CLA/CCLA examination pilot

April 23, 2014

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has concluded its multi-year pilot of the Council for Aid to Education’s Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) and Community College Learning Assessment (CCLA) exams, with mixed results. The CLA examination is meant to assess critical thinking and problem solving skills of graduating students, accounting for factors including socio-economic status or prior education achievement. 8 Ontario colleges and universities participated in the pilot; however, within those universities participation rates were very low. The study’s authors also noted that participants expressed concerns over self-selection bias. In spite of these shortcomings, some institutions suggested that the data may help with institutional benchmarking or comparing the effectiveness of teaching strategies. The report also notes that some of the known issues with the CLA/CCLA have been addressed in the latest incarnation of the examination, CLA+, which can be used as a “reflective learning tool” for incoming and first-year students. HEQCO Summary | Full Report