Edalex, the edtech company on a mission to surface learning outcomes, digital assets and the power of individual achievement, and the Council for Aid to Education, Inc. (CAE), a non-profit developer of performance-based and custom assessments that authentically measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills recently engaged online attendees in the workshop “Measurement of Learning Outcome Achievement – Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+)” at the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) annual conference held in June.
Presenting to a worldwide audience committed to the theory and practice of quality assurance in higher education, Margo Griffith, Head of Business Development at Edalex and Doris Zahner, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer of CAE discussed the value of students’ higher education and essential career readiness skills, current approaches to assessment and micro-credentials, and utilising CLA+ to measure learning outcomes.
CLA+, a performance-based assessment, situates students in real-world scenarios to measure their ability to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise information and effectively communicate a solution to a problem. Specifically, CLA+ measures students’ critical thinking, problem solving and written communication skills. Institution and student reports identify strengths and areas of opportunity by leveraging CAE’s comparative international data set.
In November 2020, CAE partnered with Edalex, the Australian edtech developers of Credentialate, the world’s first Credential Evidence Platform to assess and validate students’ attainment of essential career skills. “Credentialate’s personalised evidence record, with qualitative and quantitative data on student’s achievements, available from within a verifiable and portable digital badge, helps graduates clearly identify, articulate and speak to their workplace skills and unique strengths,” said Griffith. “With the level of granular, learner-level evidence, now available for the first time through the Credentialate platform, educators around the world can enable students to differentiate themselves competitively when seeking employment or career progression and realise real-world value from their time spent studying.”
“Conferences such as INQAAHE’s allow us to share our perspective and engage with global higher education leaders,” said Zahner. “The value of assessing students’ essential skills is not limited by borders. Facilitating robust conversations with a diverse international education community advances innovative approaches to improving student outcomes worldwide.”
CAE administers CLA+ in the US and internationally, including recent work in Australia, Chile, Finland, Italy, Mexico, and the UK. Similar to findings within the US, only 47% of entering students in these countries are proficient in critical thinking, problem solving and written communication skills as measured by CLA+. The numbers rise to just over 50% for exiting students, indicating that while there is some increase in these skills in higher education, there is much room for improvement. Edalex’s newly released survey of U.S. college graduates explores employability outcomes, future plans for education and knowledge and understanding of the modern credential marketplaces. The survey reveals that only a third of college graduates felt well prepared in differentiating their skillset, reinforcing the imperative for personalized evidence of skills, with close to half of the respondents valuing the opportunity to provide such evidence.
Responses from the conference workshop participants identified that:
- Approximately 80% of participants said that their organisation or institution values measuring students’ essential skills.
- Policy decisions, institutional value-added, and curriculum reform were cited as the primary uses of the results of the measurements.
- Fewer than a quarter of participants were using an independent third-party assessment. Most were using internally developed assessments or surveys, limiting the value and reliability of the data.
- Providing individualised feedback to students on their essential skills appeals to 70% of participants, suggesting that there is interest in student learning gains globally.
Griffith and Zahner have been invited to co-present “Using Performance-Based Authentic Assessments and Personalized Evidence: Reinventing High Stakes, Formative, and Authentic Assessment” at the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s 2021 Learning Impact Conference on Monday, 4 October 2021 which will be held as a virtual conference this year, attracting an international community of higher education leaders.
A non-profit organization whose mission is to improve student outcomes, CAE develops performance-based and custom assessments that authentically measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills and identify opportunities for student growth. CAE’s Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) for higher education, College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+) for secondary education, and the new Success Skills Assessment (SSA+) for any level, evaluate the skills educational institutions and employers demand most: critical thinking, problem solving and effective written communication. Based on CAE’s research, these skills are predictive of positive college and career outcomes. CAE also partners with its clients to design innovative performance assessments that measure the constructs vital to students, educators, and institutions, including subject area and grade specific assessments. Since 2002, more than 800,000 students at over 1,300 secondary and higher education institutions globally have completed CAE’s assessments. To learn more, please visit www.cae.org.
CAE Media Contact:
RoseComm for CAE
Edalex Media Contact:
Marketing Manager for Edalex
+61 409 598 408
Powering your single source of truth for skills and learning data
Edalex is an EdTech company powering your single source of truth for skills and learning data. Founded in 2016, Edalex develops technology solutions that extract hidden value from educational data to make it accessible and more meaningful. Edalex brings together the team behind the CODiE award-winning openEQUELLA open source platform that centrally houses teaching and learning, research, media and library content.
In 2019, Edalex launched Credentialate, the world’s first Credential Evidence Platform, that helps discover and share evidence of workplace skills. Credentialate creates order from chaotic data, provides meaningful insight through framework alignment and equips each learner with unique, rich, industry-aligned evidence of their skills and competencies. Credentialate has continued to evolve at an accelerated pace, informed in partnership with educators and industry leaders from around the world.
openRSD was released by Edalex in 2022 to help create, store and share rich skill descriptors (RSDs) and RSD collections. openRSD uses Edalex’s open source technology stack to create locally- and globally-relevant libraries of RSDs that are open to all contributors and consumers. RSDs are the building blocks of a skills-driven labour market. They structure skills data, add context around a particular skill and are both human and machine readable. RSDs bring equity to the learner and the skills ecosystem and provide an even playing field for skills recognition.