Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
European Training Foundation (ETF)
The Role of Quality Assurance in Defining, Describing and Assessing Learning Outcomes
29 November 2010 to 30 November 2010
Peer Learning Cluster or other group
Learning outcomes group
A Peer Learning Activity (PLA) on the role of quality assurance in defining, describing and assessing learning outcomes took place in Helsinki, Finland on 29-30 November 2010. The event was hosted by the Finish Ministry for Education and Culture and was attended by delegates from 21 countries.
The PLA explored the quality issues and challenges associated with defining, describing and assessing learning outcomes. The following themes were discussed during the PLA:
- The quality issues and challenges that have been identified in relation to the shift to learning outcomes when defining and describing qualifications
- The quality issues and challenges associated with assessing individual learning in accordance with learning outcomes based standards and curricula
- The extent to which existing quality assurance arrangements and institutions at a national and international level are addressing learning outcomes, and how these processes can be strengthened or improved
The discussions were stimulated by presentations, case studies and workshops.
The PLA discussions regarding the three sub themes highlighted the following general conclusions:
- The use of learning outcomes is a key enabler to increase the transparency of qualifications across institutions and countries, however the terminology is different across countries. Work needs to continue to ensure there is a common understanding of qualifications across different countries;
- The experiences of existing European projects (such as TUNING and Leonardo da Vinci projects) could be used to produce European level guidelines on the writing of learning outcomes;
- Stakeholders should be involved in the gradual process of developing learning outcomes. The process is dynamic in terms of learning and qualification provision being influenced by learning outcomes, and in turn learning outcome descriptions being influenced by the ways curricula, standards and qualifications are implemented;
- It is far more difficult to use learning outcomes to describe transversal competences compared to vocational knowledge, skills and competence and it is important to ensure these transversal competences are captured in the learning outcome;
- Work needs to be done, particularly in relation to initial teacher training, to ensure that teachers acquire the skills and awareness in order to be able to meet the expected learning outcomes of a qualification;
- There is significant variation in the way qualifications are quality assured by sector and by country which can lead to variation in the way different organisations and sectors address learning outcomes.
For further reading see: http://kslll.net/Documents/Helsinki%20PLA%20Report.pdf