Assessing Learning Outcomes in Vocational Education

  • Hamish CoatesEmail author
Reference work entry


As vocational education and training develops, more energy must be invested in ensuring that sufficient learning has been achieved to warrant the award of a qualification and that people are ready for work. Many traditional and commonly used assessment approaches do not scale well, and there remains a pressing need for reform. This chapter distils insights from international investigations of student learning outcomes assessment and uses these to chart frontiers for innovation. The chapter begins with an historical tour of the field, taking stock of progress over the last 30 years by examining signature initiatives. It sets out a framework for understanding and guiding growth, reviews likely facilitators and blockers, and, through these analyses, advances a strategy for guiding future development. The strategy articulates technical, practical, and substantive dimensions of assessment. Energy is invested in discussing each of these dimensions and creating a picture of what assessment will look like in a decade’s time. The chapter’s final section clarifies governance arrangements which would have capacity to spur the kind of progress required to propel the field. Overall this chapter offers insights into the nature, relevance, research, and practice of assessment in VET.


Vocational education Assessment methodology Learning outcomes Education reform 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Esther Winther

There are no affiliations available

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