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Guidance on how to implement the International Schools’ Assessment at your school

Guidance on how to implement the International Schools’ Assessment at your school

Feature 4 minute read

To support you in effectively implementing the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) at your school, the ISA team has put together a few suggestions.

Introduce the ISA to your school community

The first step to implementing the ISA effectively is to communicate to your school community the reason your school is using the ISA and how your school plans to use the data​. You can see some great examples of how international schools utilise their data for school improvement on the ISA School Stories page.

Ideally ISA results are used to:​

  • monitor student growth over time and support students to see their learning progress
  • evaluate instructional programs against objective evidence of student performance and identify gaps in student understanding, as well as growth in learning
  • help school leaders and teachers to identify trends and patterns in comparison with all other ISA schools ​
  • provide an additional external data point to compare to other internal school assessment.


Nominate your ISA School Coordinator

For efficient management of the ISA, a relevant person should be established as the key contact between the ISA team and your school. This person should be the assigned the ‘main administrator’ on the ISA account and receive our email communications​.

​Make sure all staff undertaking the ISA are aware of who this main administrator is, as they will have a higher level of access to the account and will be provided with all the necessary resources by the ISA team to complete testing.​


Establish who will complete key tasks

There are a range of key tasks that need to be accomplished for smooth administration of the ISA. It is a good idea to establish at the start of the process which staff member is responsible for each task, including:

  • inputting and maintaining student data
  • reviewing IT requirements and managing IT throughout testing
  • setting up sessions
  • distributing login details
  • administering the ISA tests to students
  • taking care of post-test requirements
  • distributing and interpreting ISA reports.


Communicate with administrating teachers

In the ISA program, we use the word ‘administration’ to refer to the supervision of the ISA test.​ Most schools have multiple ‘administrating’ teachers, usually the regular classroom teacher of each group of students.

​All teachers administering the test need to be provided with a copy of the Administration Handbook and discuss the content with your ISA School Coordinator to ensure they are familiar with the process.

You may also like to send the video ‘How to run your ISA testing session’ (found in your account’s Help section) to all teachers and organise a designated question time in the next staff meeting to ensure all queries have been answered by the resources​.


Communicate about the ISA with students

The ISA should not be a stressful experience for students, so it is important that students understand how their results will be used and that the assessments are to measure their progress and inform their learning, not a high-stakes assessment that is part of their grades. ​

​It is also important to follow the guidance in the Administration Handbook when undertaking the tests, so that students are provided the same instructions across all participating schools when they sit the test. 

At ACER we believe in students having an active role in their learning. ​For the ISA, the Individual Student Report will help students see the progress they are making over time and help them set goals for the future.​ You can find out more about empowering students to take part in their learning in a webinar with ACER’s Education Consultant Marc Kralj.


Find out more

To learn more about how to implement the ISA, register to watch our recent webinar.