Driving data-informed practice


Course type
Micro-credential, AQF Level 8
16 weeks part-time
100% online
Course information

Driving data-informed practice is current, skills-based, and practical – you will examine evidence from your own school to develop a whole-of-school data plan which will improve learning outcomes for your students.

This part-time course is fully online and has been designed by ACER experts, who have incorporated feedback from school leaders and school systems.

Driving data-informed practice is a credit-bearing micro-credential; successful completion of all four modules in this course is equivalent to one subject/unit of postgraduate study at AQF level 8.

Schools and systems are encouraged to have a small group of leaders working together. You will:

  • Investigate and identify reliable data to inform your school improvement agenda.
  • Conduct an evaluation and audit of the range of existing data sets (form your own school) used to monitor student learning over time and growth in learning.
  • Develop a systematic plan for the collection, analysis and use of the data to underpin your school improvement agenda. This data plan will inform your school professional learning plan.
  • Evaluate the current role school leadership teams, teachers and key stakeholders have in analysing and discussing key data sets, including your school’s data culture and routines for the use of data to improve student learning. 
  • Explore how and when to share data with your school community.

Download course outline

Learning outcomes

The course is designed for school leaders who want to effectively analyse a range of data to generate purposeful strategies and support key initiatives designed to improve student learning.

On successful completion of all modules in this course, you will be able to:

  • Critically reflect on theory and professional practice in the use of a range of data to inform decision making and improvement in student learning in schools
  • Investigate, interrogate, and select a range of data that will objectively inform improvement in student learning and a school agenda/strategy
  • Formulate and execute a whole-of-school data plan to drive data-informed practice.
Course structure

The course comprises four modules. Each module has varying contact hours with the course facilitator, online discussion, and self-directed study 

Module One (week one) The theory and process of data-informed practice and multiple sources of evidence to inform decision making.

This module explores the evidence base for data-informed improvements in student learning in schools. Participants discuss the multiple sources of evidence schools can use to monitor performance. We will consider what data are important for continuous school improvement and how analysing multiple sources of evidence strengthens evidence-based decision making.

Module Two (week two) Assessment as data sources

This module examines assessment and grading as data sources and includes an exploration of the fundamental purpose of assessment. The module introduces ACER’s distinctive approach to assessment.

Module Three (week nine) Data plans in schools

This module examines how a school can establish and enact a clear vision for using data to inform decision making by developing a data plan. We will examine the key elements of an effective data plan and the conditions that support data use in schools. This module will also discuss assessments as an integral data set and how ACER’s understanding of learning progressions is emblematic of our approach to assessment. We examine how learning progressions can be used to understand and monitor growth in learning.

Module Four (week 10): Building a data culture

This module focuses on evidence-based theories, strategies, and practices for building a data culture in a school, including professional learning communities, communities of practice, and the spiral of inquiry. The module also investigates how the inclusion of key stakeholders – teachers, staff, Board/Council members and students – are critical to this culture and the success of the school’s data plan and improvements in student learning.

Driving data-informed practice specifically addresses the characteristics of Domain 2: Analysis and Discussion of Data from the National School Improvement Tool © and draws upon the characteristics of Domain 5: Driving data-informed practice from the Principal Performance Improvement Tool ©.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor’s degree in education, or equivalent study combined with prior teaching or training.

Meet the minimum English language entry requirements: if you are not a native English speaker, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS)(Academic) assessment with an average band score of 7.5 across all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing is assumed.

ACER can also tailor this course to specific needs of education systems. We can negotiate the timing and mode of delivery.


$2000.00 for the full 16 week course, which comprises 40 contact hours with your facilitator, plus self-directed learning, webinars, and assessment tasks.

Prices are in Australian dollars (AUD) and include GST, where applicable.

Course start dates

New dates TBC

Why study with ACER?

100% online

100% online

Our sophisticated online learning environment gives you the flexibility to study to your schedule, on any device, anywhere in the world. Access lectures, articles and resources at a time that works for you. Connect with tutors, academic staff and peers in real time.

Dedicated support

Dedicated support

Get personalised support from our team. We support you throughout your education, so you stay engaged and on track to complete your qualification, no matter your life and work commitments.

World-renowned experts

World-renowned experts

Gain a competitive edge with a course led by internationally recognised assessment experts. Take your next step in your teaching career, with the confidence you are backed by the world’s best.

Outstanding community

Outstanding community

Thrive in a community of aspiring educational leaders. This course attracts intelligent, creative and ambitious education professionals from diverse teaching backgrounds. Share ideas and new thinking; this is where leaders are made.