New Thinking About CARI

Traditionally, assessment has been used to judge how well students have learnt what they have been taught (usually a body of knowledge and skills defined by a syllabus or curriculum) leading to a percentage or grade.

An alternative paradigm being investigated through the work of CARI, sees assessment as the process of establishing and understanding where learners are in their learning at the time of assessment – a question that can be answered in varying degrees of diagnostic detail.

Within this paradigm, assessment aims to establish and describe what learners know, understand and can do.

Assessment of this kind provides informed starting points for teaching and learning and enables long-term progress to be monitored by promoting a ‘growth mindset’ in assessment.

Key Researchers

Professor Geoff Masters AO

Chief Executive Officer of ACER and Head of the Centre for Assessment Reform & Innovation.

Professor Geoff Masters has published widely in the fields of educational assessment and research and is the author of Australian Education Review No. 57, Reforming Educational Assessment: Imperatives, principles and challenges (2013). Geoff provides regular advice on assessment to teachers, school leaders and policy makers, and is often an invited speaker at education conferences and events. Several of his recent publications and presentations are featured on the CARI web pages.

Dr Hilary Hollingsworth

Dr Hilary Hollingsworth is a Principal Research Fellow in ACER’s Policy, Research and Practice division. Hilary has specialised expertise in the assessment of student learning, teacher professional learning, classroom observation frameworks and mathematics education. She is involved in a number of CARI projects.