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Research Conference 2019

Preparing students for life in the 21st Century:
Identifying, developing and assessing what matters
4–5 August, Melbourne

Masterclass: Assessment of General Capabilities

Sunday 4 August, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

The Masterclass has a maximum of 80 participants, who will be organised in tables of seven.

8.00 am – 8.30 am       REGISTRATION OPENS

8.30 am –10.00 am      PART 1: A framework for assessing and teaching General Capabilities

10.00 am –10.30 am    MORNING TEA

10.30 am – 12.00 pm   PART 2: Applying the framework in your own classroom

Special Masterclass rates are offered to participants who are also attending the Research Conference commencing at 1pm.


About the class

There is tremendous interest in the teaching and assessment of General Capabilities, but educators still find it challenging to integrate them into their existing teaching units and to assess and report on the skills that students are developing.

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

In Part 1 of the Masterclass, participants will be introduced to the ACER General Capabilities assessment and teaching framework. This will include the conceptual underpinning of the framework as it applies to the assessment of collaboration, critical thinking and creative thinking. It will include how the assessment framework is built around a problem-based learning approach and will provide examples of the kinds of tasks that are included in the assessments. Participants will learn how the framework can be applied across a range of year levels and subject areas.

In Part 2 of the Masterclass, participants will take part in a hands-on activity in which they will apply the framework to a unit of instruction that they have designed. In groups, they will work through a guided process to produce a draft of a possible problem-based assessment of the general capabilities of collaboration, critical thinking and creative thinking.

About the presenters

Dr Claire Scoular
Dr Claire Scoular

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.

Dr Michael Timms
Jonathan Heard

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

19 Prospect Hill Road (Private bag 55)
Camberwell VIC 3124 Australia

Email: Moamar Nur