The Holy Grail of learning outcomes - University World News | Creativity and learning |

The search for the Holy Grail one-size-fits-all test to measure learning gains started in the US with the Collegiate Learning Assessment, but the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) wants to take it global.

One of the most important is the Generic Strand, which depends on the administration of a version of the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to gauge ‘generic skills’ and competences of students at the beginning and close to the end of a bachelor degree programme.


This includes the desire to measure a student’s progression in “critical thinking, the ability to generate fresh ideas, and the practical application of theory”, along with “ease in written communication, leadership ability, and the ability to work in a group etc.”.

OECD leaders claim the resulting data will be a tool for the following purposes:

Universities will be able to assess and improve their teaching.Students will be able to make better choices in selecting institutions – assuming that the results are somehow made available publicly.Policy-makers will be assured that the considerable amounts spent on higher education are spent well.Employers will know better if the skills of the graduates entering the job market match their needs.