In 2008, the OECD launched the AHELO feasibility study, an initiative with the objective to assess whether it is possible to develop international measures of learning outcomes in higher education.
Learning outcomes are indeed key to a meaningful education, and focusing on learning outcomes is essential to inform diagnosis and improve teaching processes and student learning. While there is a long tradition of learning outcomes’ assessment within institutions’ courses and programmes, emphasis on learning outcomes has become more important in
recent years. Interest in developing comparative measures of learning outcomes has increased in response to a range of higher education trends, challenges and paradigm shifts.
AHELO aims to complement institution-based assessments by providing a direct evaluation of student learning outcomes at the global level and to enable institutions to benchmark the performance of their students against their peers as part of their improvement efforts. Given AHELO’s global scope, it is essential that measures of learning outcomes are valid across
diverse cultures and languages as well as different types of higher education institutions (HEIs).
The purpose of the feasibility study is to see whether it is practically and scientifically feasible to assess what students in higher education know and can do upon graduation within and across these diverse contexts. The feasibility study should demonstrate what is feasible and what could be feasible, what has worked well and what has not, as well as provide lessons and
stimulate reflection on how learning outcomes might be most effectively measured in the future.