United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

School Education Quality Assessment Project

    Description
    Intro

    School Education Quality Assessment Project is a development aid projects and targets at aiding countries that have deficient capacity of professionals to grasp the modern assessment methodologies and approaches through development and localization of tools. The new adapted tools and methodologies become country’s own. They get applied by local educational authorities and school administrations for evaluation of education quality in the situation where large-scale international comparative monitoring don’t accrue. The project also promotes more intensive application of modern assessments by teachers in their everyday practice.

    Description

    It is started in 2011 in frames of Russia Education Aid for Development Program initiated by the Russian Government and the World Bank. Participating countries are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Project is open for participation for other countries. Main objectives are: (i) promoting tools for education quality assessment at a school level to introduce modern ways of managing education quality; (ii) adaptation of modern methodologies for education assessment for better achievement of SDG 4th in low and middle income countries; (iii) encourage knowledge sharing on importance of the regular education quality assessment and strengthen regional partnership in frames of SDG 17; (iv) capacity building of local specialists as a part of achievement of SDG 17th.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    School Education Quality Assessment Project aimed at targets 4.1, 4.6, 4.7 and 4C of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 through introducing education quality assessment practices at different levels of educational system (including national level) and improving educational management and policymaking. This way the project supports SDG 4th implementation starting at the school level. It also targets 17.6 of the Sustainable Development Goal 17th through capacity building of specialists who conduct educational research and use assessments in their everyday practice.

    Implementation methodologies

    The project is carried out through annual meetings, training, scientific seminars and other educational events. Communication is organized through the online platform. All assessment methodologies originally created in Russian language underwent the international validity review. Participating countries and Russia have a lot in common in approaches to education which is determined by the common historical past and close traditions. The comparison of the monitoring results between countries participating in the project is also common requirement of project partners. To assist conducting of cross-cultural studies the partners created guidelines and recommendations “Localization and adaptation framework” based on American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education (AERA/APA/NCME) standards. Methodology of adaptation includes following steps: 1. Determination of target population and comparison analysis of the educational programs. This is done by the local specialists that receive special training to perform these tasks. 2. Translation and adaptation of test items. This part is done through “learning by doing” approach by local specialists, usually test developers who know 2 languages well enough and under supervision of the test developers. 3. Development of new test items. This part is done through “learning by doing” approach by local specialists, usually test developers. 4. Expert review done by test developers. 5. Small pilot and clinical approbation. This research organized by the team of local specialists that underwent training. 6. Psychometric validity research. 7. Discussion of results, development of dissemination strategy and presenting to public. 8. Country ownership of the adapted tool.

    Results

    Quantitative results of the project include conducting educational testing and training of the specialists participated. Since the start of the project over 30000 schoolchildren in 7 countries were tested. Results of the testing were used for further interventions and improvement of education quality in schools. They were also discussed at national level with educational authorities at specially organized events. That included strategic seminars on localization of SDG 4 into local policies. National teams wrote reports that accumulated results of educational monitoring and possible interventions for quality improvement. They also produced publications and has local seminars on the results of the project with participation of wide range of stakeholders. More than 250 specialists were trained in the project on the use of modern assessment and monitoring methodologies. Training was provided during “learning by doing exercise” and through distant learning which contributes to SDG 17th.

    Factors and Constraints

    Enabling factors include multiple needs related to practical implementation of national strategies that include integrated SDG 4th in the context of absence of testing tools, methods for education quality assessment and trained specialists. Project provides tools and training on a free basis in form of development aid for countries with similar educational approaches and issues. The main constraints is absence of needed infrastructure, underdeveloped informational technologies, administrative restrictions. Constrains overcome by close cooperation with local authorities with support from national managerial bodies (ministries where needed).

    Sustainability and replicability

    Project is financed sustainably in frames of the READ Program. Participating countries also provide their financial and other kinds of support (logistics, volunteering, informational, workspaces, dedicated specialists, and their paid work time). We constantly receive request for training for the specialists in application of tools and assessment methodologies used for the project which reflects constant growing interest. The methodology of testing is universal and can be applied in any cultural and economic context. Application of these methodologies will support assessment of SDG 4 progress in frames of longitudinal research and has a proven potential to predict human capital development. At this stage developers explore possibilities of its scaling up to the next levels of education (and for other study subjects), including higher education. This work is done through partnership with leading universities and educational authorities in Russia and CIS countries.

    COVID-19 Impact

    This project introduces online testing that is very actual in frames of distant learning used during pandemic. It provides information of performance of students way before the final summative testing and helps teachers to see gaps in students understanding of study materials when its not too late for additional support. Distant technologies are widely used within the project because of its cross-country nature. So it was very easy to operate during the lockdowns in countries. The online assessment methodologies are universal can be utilized in frames of similar projects.

    Contact Name
    Artem Stepanenko
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    Organization/entity
    Center for International Cooperation in Education Development
    SDGs
    Geographical coverage

    Central Asia, Eastern Europe, CIS countries

    Timeline
    01 March 2011 (start date)
    01 January 2024 (date of completion)
    More information
    Countries
    Russian Federation
    Russian Federation
    Partnership
    N/A
    Contact Information

    Artem Stepanenko