Assessment advocacy

The focus of assessment to improve learning is on understanding – by diagnosing in detail – where learners are in their learning and monitoring learning progress over time, and using this understanding to inform the best next teaching steps to take to support that learning progress.

AER 57 – Reforming Educational Assessment: Imperatives, principles and challenges – reviews research into assessment, especially in schools. It analyses the pivotal role of assessment in learning, and argues for its reconceptualisation by practitioners and policymakers, in order for it to better to support learning.

The focus of this reconceptualised approach is to measure the learning progress that individuals make – to adopt a ‘growth’ mindset – rather than to rank and sort individuals who differ in their ability to learn – a ‘fixed’ mindset.

During 2013-16 ACER focused on building a case for reform in educational assessment, to influence practices in schools and education systems to improve learning. ACER conducted a series of nationwide events, face-to-face and online, addressing assessment reform and demonstrating through Australian examples how a ‘growth’ mindset improves teaching and learning. Assessment reform and innovation was also the theme of our two national conferences in 2015, the Excellence in Professional Practice Conference (EPPC) and the ACER Research Conference.

ACER is committed to continuing to advocate for assessment reform and innovation and over the next three years will continue to release articles and videos on a range of assessment topics. We will also run a series of seminars and workshops through the ACER Institute and establish an online discussion group to allow the education community to engage directly with ACER experts.

Join ACER’s new assessment reform discussion group and share ideas to improve assessment and reporting practices.