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Ensuring Assessment Data are Reaching the Right People

© UNESCO/K.Sullivan

September 2016 NEQMAP workshop on Reporting and Dissemination of Large-Scale Learning Assessments in Bangkok

The recent NEQMAP Capacity Development Workshop “Reporting and Dissemination of Large- Scale Learning Assessments ” welcomed participants from 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Countries habitually spend large sums of money, time and resources investing in effective assessment practices, but what happens to the results once the data has been collected? Often the true meaning behind collecting assessment data is lost during the reporting and disseminating of assessment results. Either the results are not reported at all, only reported to a selected few or not translated enough so that the data is accessible to all. So it begs the question of what is the purpose of collecting assessment data if it cannot be utilized effectively?

In alignment with the need for better efforts in terms of assessment reporting and dissemination, the Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia Pacific (NEQMAP) at UNESCO Bangkok in collaboration with the Centre for Global Education Monitoring (GEM) at the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) held the fifth in a series of regional capacity development workshops. The workshop, spanning over four days from 13 to 16 September 2016, focused on the importance of reporting and dissemination of large-scale assessment results and providing participants with the tools to develop an effective dissemination strategy and products. With the generous support of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the workshop was attended by country delegates from 14 countries/economies in the Asia Pacific region as well as representatives from partner organizations. During the workshop, the participants had the chance to engage in an active and lively debate around what other countries are currently undertaking in this realm of assessment practices and what could be developed for their own countries.

In an effort to ensure that this workshop was relevant to the needs of participants and equally important in its applicability to a range of countries, NEQMAP and ACER aimed to frame the workshop in a highly participatory approach. With such a lively group of participants, discussions and group-oriented tasks enabled the prospect of rich dialogue around solutions. A number of countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Hong Kong (China), India, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea had the chance to present their current assessment reporting and dissemination strategies and tools which acted as a springboard for discussion around what similar issues other countries were facing and how these countries were aiming to combat such issues. Of most interest was the final day of the workshop, which focused mainly on participants developing an action plan for their countries in order to establish an effective reporting and dissemination strategy for their assessments.

Almost every country acknowledged within their action plan that they would like to invest more time and attention in developing appropriate reports and dissemination tools that are translated for different audiences. Many committed to creating reports that were catered not only at the ministerial level, but also all the way down to teachers and parents. Hong Kong (China) additionally focused on the need to provide teachers with appropriate interpretations of test item analysis and further advice to teachers in order to respond to student results.

Many participants identified lack of use of online platforms such as their own websites and social media as areas of required development within their action plans. The workshop had sessions that specifically focused on this area, which provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to understand how to utilize the various platforms such as websites, Facebook, blogs and Twitter to generate public awareness about large-scale assessments within their respective countries. Within each participant’s action plan they were requested to outline a short term plan to amend their website, which would then be followed up by the NEQMAP Secretariat at UNESCO Bangkok with additional support. Goals from participants ranged from something as simple as setting up a Facebook page to designing and including more infographics within their websites.

Overall the workshop received praise from participants in regards to its collaborative and interactive as well as the support received from the facilitators, Ursula Schwantner (ACER), Sally Robertson (ACER) and Kathleen Sullivan (UNESCO Bangkok) throughout the event. It is now with anticipation that we look towards the upcoming months to gauge how countries have improved their large-scale assessment reporting and dissemination strategy and tools.

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For more information, please contact For more information, please contact Ramya Vivekanandan [r.vivekanandan(at)] at the Section for Inclusive Quality Education.

Written by Payal Goundar [p.goundar (at)] [UNESCO] 

© UNESCO/K.Sullivan

September 2016 NEQMAP workshop on Reporting and Dissemination of Large-Scale Learning Assessments in Bangkok