On 22-24 of May a group of experts from READ countries visited CITO, Netherlands in order to participate in a short intensive course on educational assessment. The study-tour to CITO was organized by the Center for International Cooperation in Education Development CICED with support from READ RAS team.

In 2018 CITO – the institute for educational measurement located in Netherlands – will celebrate its 50th birthday. Since its foundation in 1968 CITO has been a leader in development and implementation of educational assessment at all levels of the educational system in the Netherlands. They develop tests that are taken at every level of education in the Netherlands, they do national assessments in order to diagnose the state of the educational systems, they also develop national driving tests, etc. CITO takes part in International surveys: PISA, SurveyLang, CEFR, EBAFLS. CITO started offering its expertise worldwide. Since then CITO has proved itself as one of the most advanced institution in the developing exams, tests and assessment methods. CITO has experience in more than 40 countries across all continents, providing consultancy and training services to public and private customers. That’s why CICED chose CITO as the place for the annual study-tour.

The practice of a study tour was first trialed in 2009 in frames of the READ program and since then proved itself as an effective activity. Its core goals are always coordinated with CICED’s main priorities, such as building of the expert capacity. During the study tour participants have opportunities not only to receive theoretical knowledge and some practical skills but also to see how the leading systems for educational assessment are implemented and function. From each study-tour participants bring home new connections that they can use in further professional development. Study-tours also allow participants to learn more about each others expertise and the way things are done in partner READ countries.

On the study tour to CITO CICED was joined by participants from the Republic of Armenia (National Center for Assessment and Testing under the Government of the Republic of Armenia and Yerevan State University for Languages and Social Science) and the National Institute for Education Development of the Republic of Belarus. The short term course was rather intensive and included some practical training. The program of the course was developed having in mind the work fields of each participant. It was equally interesting for those involved in decision making and specialists who do psychometric research. Topics included data analysis and examples of its use for decision making, national assessment, student monitoring systems, modern approaches to test development, evidence centered design and many more. At the end of the training each successful participant received a certificate.

CICED plans to continue the successful practice of conducting study-tours. We invite our colleagues in READ countries to join us in the next study-tour that we will announce well in advance. We also ask specialists in READ countries to share their ideas on where else we could learn from, what knowledge gaps do they need to fill, which educational assessment practice they would like to master and which leading experts to meet. CICED is aimed at providing customized training and each study-tour will be based first of all on participants needs.

We also would like to say thank you for our hosts in the Netherlands – Frans Kleintjes, Wil Knappers, Bas Hemker, Nico Dieteren, Erik Roelofs, Caroline Jongkamp and Janny Harmsen for such a warm welcome and for very attentive and professional training.