Designed to develop high-level assessment skills and understandings, ACER’s Graduate Certificate of Education: Assessment of Student Learning is a formally accredited postgraduate course of study intended for professional educators.

Delivered online to offer unparalleled flexibility to practising educators, the course comprises four units, which can be completed across a 12-month period of part-time study.

These units are highly relevant to modern educational practice, designed for direct application to contemporary educational contexts and settings, and are firmly grounded in evidence, pedagogy and data derived from the Australian Council for Educational Research’s work at the forefront of international educational research.

Course overview

The Graduate Certificate of Education: Assessment of Student Learning comprises four units.

Units can be completed in sequence over a 12-month period, or, following the completion of unit one (GCEASL01 – Assessment to Promote Learning) in order of preference/availability over a period of up to three years.

The first unit in the Graduate Certificate of Education: Assessment of Student Learning also functions as a stand-alone non-award professional development course.

Assessment to Promote Learning


This unit provides an opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the purpose and importance of assessment for learning, and serves as foundational learning for subsequent units in the Graduate Certificate Education:  Assessment of Student Learning.

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Assessment Methods


Participants in this unit will explore the strengths and limitations of different assessment methods, and develop an enhanced understanding of the criteria for selecting different assessment methods, and the application of these criteria in a variety of contexts.

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Estimating Student Progress


This unit focuses on the investigation of the principles underpinning reliable and valid estimates of student progress. It aims to equip participants to judge student progress accurately, helping to develop core components of teaching practice.

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Using Assessment Evidence to Inform Teaching and Learning


This unit focuses on the application of collected assessment data, with a particular emphasis on using collected data to inform teaching practices and learning decisions. It is designed to help participants harness assessment evidence in practical ways, leading to more effective teaching and learning practices.

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Through this course, participants will:

  • understand the theories and research evidence underpinning the purposes and principles of assessment and feedback in the teaching and learning cycle
  • understand the uses of moderation and triangulation of data sources to inform judgements
  • critically evaluate assessment in relation to defined frameworks
  • critically evaluate a range of assessment methods, and use appropriate criteria to select and judge evidence
  • build students’ capacity for self-assessment and peer assessment
  • use appropriate criteria to make unbiased judgements of student achievement based on evidence
  • use assessment evidence to inform and improve current practice, identify next steps for students and identify professional development needs.

This learning experience was one of the best I have engaged in for a long time. It addressed really specific issues related to my role and therefore I was able to not only consider but apply, reflect and reapply what I was learning... Facilitation and support within the course was timely and specific, modelling our investigations in practice. I cannot more highly recommend this course for those that want to delve deeper into student learning and assessment.

Carolyn Gedling
Curriculum Director, The Franconian International School, Germany

Why study with ACER?



The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is internationally recognised as a leader in educational research and assessment. 



Our Graduate Certificate of Education offers access to leading specialists and experts in the field of educational assessment, providing insight from the latest developments in educational research.



Our part-time, online learning environment is tailored to your personal needs and availability.

Work independently, to your own schedule, on any device, anywhere in the world.



Graduates from our programs are backed by ACER’s reputation for high-quality, evidence-based research, and are well-equipped for positions in educational leadership, allowing them to take the next step in their teaching career.

The course provided a chance for me to reflect on my practice and challenged me to think critically in moving forward. The content is relevant, interesting and up to date with newest research and innovation. Most importantly, it is practical.

Elise Pape
Year Leader and Classroom Teacher, Oakleigh, Victoria


The Graduate Certificate of Education: Assessment of Student Learning has both beginning of year and mid-year intakes, to facilitate the best possible learning experience for  students.

If you have successfully completed (at least) a Bachelor degree in a relevant discipline from an approved tertiary institution and are in a position to work closely in an education setting, consider enrolment in ACER’s Graduate Certificate of Education program.

Enrolments for both upcoming intakes are now open. Enrol now and take the next step in your teaching and learning career with ACER.

start date

10 July 2017

Applications close

Friday 30 June 2017

Apply now
start date

29 January 2018

Applications close

Friday 19 January 2018

Apply now