Papers and research

As part of a process for gathering information to inform their deliberations, the ACER reviewers commissioned papers about senior assessment and tertiary entrance. We are pleased to share some papers with you as they become available. Edited versions of these papers will be included as appendices in the review report.

Strengths and weaknesses of Queensland’s OP system today - Reg Allen (uploaded 01 November 2013)

Although of a technical nature, this paper will be of interest to many people who are following this review.

Analysis of selected major reports in Queensland, 1970 to 1990 - David Kelly, ACER (uploaded 16 January 2014)

This paper reminds us that school-based assessment has been operating for more than 40 years and that it is 24 years since the last review of tertiary entrance. 

  • Public Examinations for Queensland Secondary School Students (1970, ‘the Radford Report’)
  • A Review of School-based Assessment in Queensland Secondary Schools (1978, ‘the ROSBA Report’)
  • Tertiary Entrance in Queensland: A Review (1987, ‘the Pitman Report’)
  • The Review of Tertiary Entrance in Queensland 1990 (1990, ‘the Viviani Report’)

An overview of senior assessment and tertiary entrance in Australia and other countries – Doug McCurry, ACER (uploaded 10 February 2014)

This paper describes and classifies systems in 30 countries. Attempts to describe assessment systems and university entrance across the world inevitably lead to factual errors. Attempts to classify those systems within the same general framework cannot help but produce inaccuracies and incomplete pictures. Despite such limitations, this paper presents information in ways that allow the reader to compare and contrast aspects of different systems, to note similarities between them, and to look at practices within their own system from a different perspective.

Background Paper No. 1, Senior assessment and tertiary entrance in a nutshell – Gabrielle Matters, ACER (uploaded 04 October 2013)

Research activity

ACER commissioned Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith (then Executive Dean, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University) to undertake a significant piece of work for the Queensland review. The reviewers required independent research into the operation of state and district review panels. Review panels have a pivotal role in social moderation where teacher judgments are at the heart of the assessment process.  Of particular interest to the reviewers was how teachers use the criteria & standards matrix in arriving at an overall level of achievement and how this approach might differ across subjects. The research design included the collection of data during three crucial events in the review cycle – work program approval, monitoring, and verification. ACER is grateful to QSA (now QCAA) for granting researchers access to these events.

An account of the inner workings of standards, judgement and moderation: A previously untold evidence-based narrative – Claire Wyatt-Smith & Peta Colbert (2014)