General Capabilities Masterclass

ACER Seminars

Date Location Presenter(s) Cost Availability
21 Oct 2020 Perth
(Google map)
Time: 9:00am-4pm
Dr Claire Scoular
Jonathan Heard
$490 Registrations are closed.
Please note that all future General Capabilities Masterclasses have been postponed until further notice. 


There is increasing emphasis on the assessing and teaching of General Capabilities, but educators still find this a challenging task. The integration of capabilities such as critical thinking, creative thinking and collaboration can be difficult to identify and engage with meaningfully within teachers’ existing discipline-based curriculum and pedagogy, and even harder to assess developmentally and authentically.

In this full-day Masterclass led by Dr Claire Scoular and Jonathan Heard, participants will learn how to apply the ACER General Capabilities assessment framework to a teaching unit of their own.

In Part 1 of the Masterclass, participants will be introduced to the ACER General Capabilities assessment framework. This will include:

  • Overview of an assessment framework with reference to the research evidence from which it was informed
  • Detailed conceptualisation of three capabilities: of collaboration, critical thinking, and creative thinking
  • A problem-based learning module for assessing and teaching the capabilities
  • Examples of student data and how these can be interpreted in reference to levels of proficiency.

In Part 2 of the Masterclass, participants will take part in a guided process to produce a draft of a problem-based assessment of capabilities collaboration, critical thinking and creative thinking that they can apply in their own practice. Working either in school groups or individually, participants will be guided through a series of hands-on activities adapting the ACER’s assessment framework and capability definitions to produce an assessment for their own year levels and/or subject area.

Dates:  25 February (Melbourne), 11 March (Brisbane), 12 March (Sydney), 18 March (Adelaide),  25 March (Hobart), 1 April (Perth)

9:30am – 12:00pm                PART 1: A framework for assessing and teaching General Capabilities

12:00pm – 12:30pm              Lunch

12:30pm – 4:00pm               PART 2: Applying the framework in your own classroom

Dr Claire Scoular is a Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research whose interests revolve around improvement of psychological measurement and assessment practices. She has recently investigated the development of measurement methodologies and assessment tools for 21st century skills including problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, information literacy, creative thinking and learning in digital networks, in both traditional and automated test delivery systems. Claire is working with several developing countries to integrate 21st century skills into their education systems and build capacity in this area. Before joining ACER, Claire led research projects at the Assessment Research Centre and the Assessment, Curriculum, and Technology Research Centre. Claire gained her PhD at the University of Melbourne in automated measurement methodologies of 21st century skills. Prior to this Claire worked as a psychologist in measurement, diagnosis and intervention in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Jonathan Heard is a Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research in the Assessment and Reporting Division. He develops test content and instructional resources for verbal reasoning, reading and critical thinking assessments. He is also a member of the Centre for Assessment Reform and Innovation (CARI) project team, investigating alternative, classroom-based methods for assessing the general capabilities of critical thinking, collaboration and creative thinking. Jonathan has 15 years’ experience in high school teaching, last holding a leading teacher position as the Director of Pedagogy at Balwyn High School in Melbourne, and has an interest in instructional practice, information literacy and teaching critical thinking.

Contact us about this event

Laura Smith
Tel: +61 3 9277 5595