22.02.2018 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Latin American education assessment specialists prepare the first pilot of the regional ERCE study in the Dominican Republic

The participants in Santo Domingo. Photo: UNESCO.

Plans are underway for the Fourth Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE), which UNESCO will implement in 2019 in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The ERCE Pilot Application Information Gathering and Procedures Workshop is being held February 21-23, 2018 for professionals from the three countries that are designing the pilot in which they will participate.

The pilot study application of the Fourth Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE) will be conducted for the northern part of the continent in May 2018 in Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. To ensure its success, teams from these three countries and a delegation from Bolivia are participating in a workshop in Santo Domingo that will expand upon data capture and verification procedures and train participants to use the software that will be used to gather and process this important information.

The activity is being conducted by international experts and specialists from the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), the program responsible for the study, which is managed by the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago).

The Fourth Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE) will provide valid, reliable information that will allow for the assessment of student performance in the region. The application of the Northern Pilot includes learning achievement tests and questionnaires on associated factors in the three countries. These data will help to explain the circumstances that have the greatest impact on the achievements of children from the region.

The creation of capacities in the teams from the countries participating in the large-scale study is of great importance. Given that the technical teams participating in this workshop are responsible for, among other things, data gathering and processing, it is very important that they fully understand the logistics required to balance available resources, familiarize themselves with procedures and develop capacities among those applying this instrument.

Workshop Schedule

The objectives of the event are to familiarize participants with practical tasks linked to the execution of a large-scale assessment program and to install technical capacities related to data gathering and assessment procedures.

Participants are expected to understand the tasks related to the organization prior to data gathering, to be familiar with manual contents for the administration of the assessment, and to estimate the human and material resources necessary for this phase of the study.

The workshop will allow them to closely follow quality control tasks for the study and they will be trained on the use of WinW3S software and DME software notions related to this phase of the ERCE.

Atilio Pizarro, the study’s general coordinator at OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, explains that the training activities “first, seek to contribute to the training and strengthening of technical capacities for LLECE member country assessment teams. Throughout the preparation of the Fourth Study, the workshops and training programs have a dual purpose. The first consists of strengthening knowledge for the study, and the second –which covers the medium- and long-terms– seeks to install these capacities in each of the countries in the region so that they will have highly qualified technical teams. This workshop, in particular, is focused on increasing the use of software for data processing and capture. We will thus have foundations of quality data, which will strengthen the validity of the study, a key objective of the ERCE.”

Ancell Scheker Mendoza, the Director for Assessment and Quality Control of the Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic, stated during the inauguration of the workshop on February 21, 2018 that “LLECE is making a major contribution to the development of the region’s technical assessment teams. It is an honor for the Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic to host this important workshop, which also offers us the opportunity to exchange valuable experiences with experts and technicians from other countries.”

A total of 23 people are taking part in the training activity including specialists from the countries’ technical teams, LLECE specialists, and an international expert. It is being made possible thanks to the support of the Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), the UNESCO Antenna Bureau in Dominican Republic, the Dominican National Commission for UNESCO, and the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago).

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