Standard 13: Assessment of Holistic Learning Outcomes

Appropriate methods are used to evaluate and validate holistic learning outcomes.

Key Actions

1. Continuous assessment and evaluation: Conduct continual assessments and evaluations of learners’ holistic outcomes and use them to guide teaching and learning.

See Guidance Notes:

2. Fair, reliable, and non-threatening assessments: Ensure that assessments are fair, reliable, and non-threatening to learners.

See Guidance Notes:

3. Relevant assessments: Design assessments so that they are relevant to learners’ future educational, economic, and social needs.

See Guidance Notes:

4. Tertiary education: Conduct formal and informal assessments of technical and vocational learners and higher education learners.

See Guidance Notes:

5. Recognition of learners’ achievements and progress: Recognize learners’ achievements and progress, including awarding credits or documentation for prior learning and course completion.

See Guidance Notes:

Guidance Notes
1
Continuous assessment and evaluation

Effective assessment and evaluation methods and measures should be in place during emergencies. Learners need to be part of the process and should understand what will be measured and for what reason. They should be guided in reflecting on their progress, including what they have learned and what they have found challenging. Learners should be encouraged to discuss their reflections with their peers, their parents and caregivers, and their teachers. Ongoing formative assessment is particularly important in times of crisis. It may be the most effective way to understand the effect an emergency has had on the learners’ psychosocial wellbeing, the impact of any disruption of learning or irregular attendance caused by the emergency, and the effectiveness of different teaching modalities, including distance education. When conducting assessments of any nature, education actors have an ethical duty to be sensitive to the needs and experiences of learners affected by conflict and crises. With MHPSS assessments, specific questions, the duration of a measure, or even the fact of being assessed can cause children additional and undue stress.

When conducting assessments, it is important for education actors to consider the following:

  • Relevance: Tests and examinations should be appropriate to the learning context and age of children and young people.
  • Consistency: All teachers should know and apply evaluation methods in similar ways at all locations.
  • Opportunity: Absent learners should get another chance to be assessed.
  • Timing: Formative assessment is ongoing and allows for real-time adaptation and support; summative assessment, which evaluates progress against established objectives, happens at the end of a term, semester, or school year.
  • Frequency: Learners may be assessed less often during an emergency.
  • Safe setting: Teachers and other education personnel should conduct summative assessments in a safe place and ensure that results are confidential.
  • Transparency: Teachers should share and discuss results with learners and parents and caregivers, with the aim of improving future learning.
  • Accommodating learners with disabilities: Education stakeholders must provide learners with disabilities with specific accommodations based on their needs, including having more time to complete assignments. These learners should be allowed to demonstrate their skills and understanding in ways that are appropriate to their needs (for more guidance, see INEE Pocket Guide to Supporting Learners with Disabilities).
  • Mode of assessment: If it is not possible to bring learners together for face-to-face exams, the tests may be delayed or be replaced by a teacher assessment.
  • Use of assessment and evaluation results: Teachers should be trained to carry out assessments and evaluations in the ways described above and be supported in so doing. Their training should include how to understand and use test results to support learners’ progress and improve their own teaching.
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2
Fair, reliable, and non-threatening assessments

Assessments and evaluations should be fair, enable all learners to do their best, and not discourage learners who are returning to education after an absence. Assessments provide an opportunity to show learners what they can do, as well as what they are struggling with. Like the curriculum, assessment examples and tools should not show any bias. They should not favor one type of learning over another, such as memorization over application. Assessments should be fair; the way they are presented should not create barriers for learners, and learners should have adequate time to complete them. The tools and instruments used to assess learners should not be so complicated that the learner focuses on the tool rather than on what is being measured. The assessment tools, timetable, and application should accommodate the specific needs of learners with disabilities, which may mean using assistive devices and technologies, such as communication boards or large print. These learners may be allowed more time or be placed in a separate, quiet space to complete the assessment.

To ensure that assessment and evaluation are not used to threaten, harass, or coerce learners, teachers must be trained in child safeguarding measures and reporting mechanisms. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment, coercion, and exploitation related to assessment. Codes of conduct, ethical guidelines, and contractual agreements for teachers and other education personnel should indicate that any threatening behavior will lead to immediate and strong disciplinary procedures. Head teachers, education personnel, and community members will need to monitor adherence to the codes and take immediate action if they believe a learner is at risk. All learners need to know how they can express their concerns about harassment or coercion, and that they can do so confidentially (for more guidance, see Supporting Integrated Child Protection and Education Programming in Humanitarian Action).

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3
Relevant assessments

Assessments should relate to what learners have been taught. Education stakeholders and teachers should identify learning objectives and benchmarks and modify assessments to reflect what was taught, as the curriculum covered during emergencies may be less than under normal circumstances. Assessment also should be in the language learners were taught in. Younger learners will need to be able to respond to assessment using hands-on activities. The purpose of the assessment also should be relevant; for example, to determine which grade learners who have missed school should enter or whether a learner needs additional support. Assessments can take place before an education cycle, at the end of studying a certain concept or skill, or at the end of a term, semester, or year. Community members can help assess the quality of learning and the effectiveness of the teaching.

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4
Tertiary education

The progress and achievements of learners in tertiary education programs, including TVET, higher education, and adult education programs, should lead to certification. Systems should be in place to ensure these programs are accredited. For TVET, this will apply to achievements in learning practical, theoretical, and social and emotional skills. TVET providers should adhere to any national standards that are in place for pre-placement assessment, certification, and course completion, and should allow participants to complete national assessments.

Assessments of higher education learners will vary, depending on the course of study, and they will likely be ongoing formal and summative assessments. Both may include practical and oral tasks. An informal assessment may involve a teacher giving learners regular feedback on their progress and encouraging self-reflection, which will provide useful insights into the relevance and quality of their learning programs. If distance education or blended learning approaches are being used, assessments may be conducted online or by audio or video.

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5
Recognition of learners' achievements and progress

Recognizing learners’ achievements is important for their future educational, economic, and individual needs. It is the role and responsibility of national authorities to establish and enforce accreditation for all education programs within the national system. During emergencies, when systems and staff members are under pressure or services are disrupted, opportunities may arise to strengthen certain aspects of national systems, including recognizing the participation and progress of displaced and refugee learners.

Recognizing learners’ achievements and progress may be done informally by giving them and their parents and caregivers regular feedback. It may also be formal, such as awarding credits and providing documentation of completion of a level or course. During emergencies, recognition of learners’ achievements and progress may emphasize softer skills, such as the ability to work collaboratively with others, to show empathy and respect, and to demonstrate peacebuilding and conflict resolution skills. Formal assessments and evaluations are designed to determine whether a learner is ready to continue on to the next level or to leave a study program with a certification or diploma. To receive recognition for successfully completing higher education, learners will likely need to take formal exams. In emergency situations, education stakeholders should administer exams as soon as it is safe and feasible, to lessen learning loss and to facilitate a smooth transition to employment or other post-graduation opportunities.

In addition to the established systems of recognition in formal education, it is essential that non-formal programs have similar systems and tools to acknowledge learners’ progress, such as when they are ready to progress through curriculum levels or to complete a course. These programs should be coordinated with the national education authorities so that learners will have the opportunity to transition into formal programs or receive formal recognition. Clear and transparent policies and protocols should guide all programs and be shared with learners and their communities.

Issuing certificates, endorsing certificates and progress, and maintaining and safeguarding records in national or organizational systems are important parts of a strong education program and system. During emergencies, especially when people are displaced, it may be challenging or impossible to access learners’ previous records. This can affect learners of all ages, in all types of programs by preventing or delaying progression to a new level, integration into the host country education system, or presentation of education completion records to potential employers. It may be necessary to create a new system to replace damaged, destroyed, or missing records, or to establish an assessment system that can indicate learning levels and allow quick integration into the appropriate learning program at the correct level. When possible, this should be facilitated by or done in coordination with local and national authorities to ensure broader and system-level recognition of learners’ abilities. Issuing paper certificates and maintaining digital records are both important to the recognition process. Paper certificates have great value to the individual, as they demonstrate their recognized academic progress and are a source of pride.

For refugee learners, recognition of prior learning and qualifications from different countries can be a complex process. When enrolling primary and secondary learners in schools, education stakeholders should make efforts to recognize the learning and years of education completed before displacement. Many countries have frameworks in place for recognizing and equating grade completion, however, refugee learners and their families may need support and assistance to access these processes. Regional and inter-agency stakeholders should continue to emphasize the importance of recognizing the educational achievements of displaced learners. Advances have been made in this area in higher education, in particular the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education, ratified in 2023. The Convention aims to facilitate mobility for refugee and displaced learners through the strengthening of certification and recognition procedures. The procedures may vary depending on whether a refugee student’s learning was interrupted before completing a qualification program or if they had already received the qualification. The UNESCO Qualifications Passport aims to support this process by providing systems strengthening to national tertiary and higher education authorities and institutions to integrate the Qualifications Passport assessment procedures for evaluating refugee and displaced learners’ academic, professional, and vocational qualifications. Regional qualifications frameworks are important tools for supporting the recognition of prior learning and qualifications within and across borders, and promoting learning at all levels, from ECD to tertiary.

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Supporting Resources

Supporting Resources
1 March 2016 Toolkit US Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank

Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) Toolkit

In the interest of consolidating diverse experiences and developing a reasonably standardized approach to assessing children’s early reading acquisition, this “toolkit,” or user manual, serves as a guide for countries beginning to work with EGRA in such areas as local adaptation of the instrument, fieldwork, and analysis of results.

30 June 2010 Manual/Handbook/Guide Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning

The INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning and accompanying Resource Pack build on the INEE Minimum Standards and articulate good practice on critical issues related to curricula adaptation and development; teacher training, professional development and support; instruction and learning processes; and the assessment of learning outcomes.

31 July 2010 Manual/Handbook/Guide Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

INEE Pocket Guide to Supporting Learners with Disabilities

The INEE Pocket Guide to Supporting Learners with Disabilities is specifically aimed at providing practical advice to teachers/educators, as one of the biggest challenges in the development of inclusive education is helping practitioners to turn theory into practice.

19 November 2020 Manual/Handbook/Guide Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

INEE Technical Note on Measurement for Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Technical Note on Measurement intends to supplement version one of the INEE Technical Note on Education During COVID-19, and specifically focuses on distance education programs in light of the pandemic. This targeted technical guidance has been drafted in response to monitoring, evaluation, and learning needs identified by INEE members.

5 December 2022 Manual/Handbook/Guide Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Supporting Integrated Child Protection and Education Programming in Humanitarian Action

This guidance note by INEE and the Alliance aims to promote integration and collaboration across the two humanitarian sectors of education and child protection. It orients stakeholders in both sectors to principles, frameworks, opportunities, and resources for program integration in order to ensure efficient, targeted, and effective interventions that result in improved outcomes for children and young people.

1 February 2020 Website United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organziation (UNESCO)

UNESCO Qualifications Passport

The UNESCO Qualifications Passport for Refugees is a standardized statement, which contains three parts – the assessment part, the explanatory part and the third part, concerning the way ahead. Although this document does not constitute a formal recognition or authorization or license to practice a certain profession, it summarizes and presents available information on the applicant’s educational level, work experience and language proficiency.

Indicators

Untitled Spreadsheet
INEE Domain INEE Standard Indicator/Program Requirements Clarification Numerator Denominator Target Disaggregation Source of Indicator Source of Data Available Tool Crisis Phase
Teaching and Learning Curricula (T&L Std 1)

Culturally, socially and linguistically relevant curricula are used to provide formal and non-formal education, appropriate to the particular context and needs of learners.
3.1 Pupil-textbook ratio Number of students Number of textbooks 1:1 Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New School administrative data Right to Education Monitoring Guide All stages
3.2 Percentage of targeted learning spaces whose learning materials meet minimum quality standards Curricula, textbooks, and other learning materials should be inclusive, conflict-sensitive, gender-transformative, promote SEL and PSS, etc. Number of targeted learning spaces where learning materials meet minimum standards of quality Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Formal vs non-formal New Learning material analysis Tool required All stages
3.3 Percentage of students in the right grade for their age Number of students at a grade level appropriate to within one year of their age Number students 100% Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New School administrative data No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
3.4 Percentage of targeted crisis-affected children and youth benefiting from relevant skills development (SEL / PSS / risk awareness / environmental education / conflict prevention) Number of targeted crisis-affected children and youth benefiting from relevant skills development (SEL/PSS/risk awareness/ environmental education/conflict prevention) Number of identified crisis-affected children and youth needing relevant skills development (SEL/PSS/risk awareness/ environmental education/conflict prevention) 100% Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New Learning outcome measures Tool required All stages
3.5 Percentage of targeted learning spaces utilizing curriculum aligned to national standards In formal settings, the national curriculum should be used. In non-formal settings, the curriculum should be appropriate and compatible with the national curriculum. Number of targeted learning spaces utilizing curriculum aligned to national standards
Number of targeted learning spaces
100% Formal vs non-formal New Program documentation Tool required All stages
Training, Professional Development and Support (T&L Std 2)

Teachers and other education personnel receive periodic, relevant and structured training according to needs and circumstances.
3.6 Percentage of teachers who show increased understanding of and practice Teacher’s Role & Well-being; Child Protection, Well-being; Inclusion; Pedagogy; Curriculum & Planning; and Subject Knowledge Number of teachers who show increased understanding of and practice Teacher’s Role & Well-being; Child Protection, Well-being; Inclusion; Pedagogy; Curriculum & Planning; and Subject Knowledge Number of teachers 100% Gender TiCC Classroom observation, teacher survey World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.7 Teacher satisfaction level with TPD activity/activities they have participated in Number of teachers satisfied with TPD activities they have participated in Number of teachers 100% Gender TiCC Teacher survey Tool required All stages
3.8 Percentage of teachers who report feeling confident in their ability to teach effectively Number of teachers who report feeling confident in their ability to teach effectively Number of teachers 100% Gender TiCC Teacher survey Tool required All stages
3.9 Percentage of teachers and other education personnel benefiting from professional development according to assessed needs Number of teachers and other education personnel benefiting from professional development according to assessed needs Number of teachers 100% Gender New Program administrative data Tool required All stages
3.10 Degree of teacher professional development recognition and/or certification Number of teachers whose TPD is recognized or certified Number of teachers 100% Gender New Program documentation Tool required All stages
Instruction & Learning Processes (T&L Std 3)

Instruction and learning processes are learner-centred, participatory and inclusive.
3.11 Percentage of teachers whose training included methods for how to engage all students equally and in a participatory way Number of teachers whose training included methods in how to engage all students equally and in participatory way Number of teachers 100% Gender New Teacher survey Tool required All stages
3.12 Appropriateness of teaching methods to the age, developmental level, language, culture, capacities, and needs of learners Scale 1-5 (1 = low, 5 = high) 5 NA New Classroom observation World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.13 Percentage of teachers who use structures or routines to manage classroom interactions more effectively Number of teachers who demonsrate effective use of structures or routines for managing classroom interactions Number of teachers 100% Gender New Classroom observation World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.14 Frequency of parental engagement in communications that inform them of learning content and teaching methods Number of parent-teacher engagement sessions Per year To be defined by program NA New program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
Assessment of Learning Outcomes (T&L Std 4)

Appropriate methods are used to evaluate and validate learning outcomes.
3.15 Percentage of teachers capable of assessing learning progress Number of teachers who are trained in and use continuous student formative learning assessments Number of teachers 100% Gender New Classroom observation World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.16 Degree of use of accreditation, certification, and recognition Measures whether students' learning achievements are formally recognized through accreditation, certification, or some other form of recognition. This is particularly relevant when completing levels, such as primary or secondary Scale 1-5 (1 = low, 5 = high) 5 NA New Program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
3.17 Learning assessments are available in first languages Number of languages available for assessments Number of first languages 100% NA New program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages