International learning outcomes assessments possible but require more work

April 22, 2014

A new report issued by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) says that standardized international learning outcomes assessments are feasible but will require significant refinement in order to be valuable. The report came out of an Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) feasibility study carried out with 9 Ontario civil engineering programs. The study acknowledged that “the data collected were from an unrepresentative sample of jurisdictions and institutions,” and also that “the assessments made … were not sensitive enough to provide institution-level information by specific competency nor could they provide reliable feedback for individual students,” due in part to ethics board requirements. However, the authors suggest that the study demonstrated the possibilities of international cooperation and proved that there is a high level of interest in such programs from a range of stakeholders. HEQCO Summary | Full Report