OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

The assessment of students’ creative and critical thinking skills in higher education across OECD countries

A review of policies and related practices

Developed as one of the resources within the context of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) project entitled “Fostering and assessing creativity and critical thinking skills in higher education”, this paper reviews existing policies and practices relating to the assessment of students’ creativity and critical thinking skills in higher education across OECD countries. Creativity and critical thinking are largely emphasised in policy orientations and qualification standards governing higher education in many countries. In contrast, these skills are sparsely integrated into the dimensions of centralised assessments administered at the level of systems. At the local level, because of the large degrees of institutional autonomy and academic freedom, there is little indication that policy orientations translate into actual transformation of assessment practices developed and implemented by faculty members. Based on this analysis, the paper provides recommendations for policy and decision makers in systems and institutions to further support the development and implementation of assessment strategies to measure and foster students’ creativity and critical thinking in higher education.


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