The Assessment Research Centre (ARC) focuses on improving assessment and reporting through a four-step process of research, publications, development and teaching. These steps provide the framework for the ARC's strategic planning, and guide the Centre's core business as well as its link to the University of Melbourne's mission.
Research that leads to change, strategically affects change, or sets up the basis for change and improvement in assessment, forms the focus of the ARC's work.
Assessment tools and resources
21st century skills
Associate Professor Sandra Milligan
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Dr Sandra Milligan is Director and Principal Fellow of the Assessment Research Centre at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Sandra’s current research interests focus on assessment, micro-credentialing and warranting of hard-to-assess learning.
Her most recent research examined how ‘big data’ and developmental assessment approaches can be used on digital learning platforms, to support assessment of higher-order learning skills such as ‘21st Century skills’, or learning skills. Originally trained as a teacher of science and mathematics, she is also a former Director of Curriculum in an Australian state education department, and has held senior research, management and governance positions in a range of educational organisations, including government agencies, not-for-profits, small start-up businesses and large, listed, international corporations. She was co-founder of The Good Universities Guide series, and has a background in technology commercialisation in education. She is the Convenor of a Melbourne University MOOC targeting professional learning for teachers in the area of assessment and teaching of 21C skills, which has to date has enrolled over 30,000 teachers worldwide.
Emeritus Professor Patrick Griffin
Patrick is the founding director of the Assessment Research Centre. He has published widely on assessment topics that include the development and calibration of instruments to measure collaborative problem solving and other 21st century skills as well as literacy, numeracy and problem solving proficiency, through online interactive assessment and calibration.
Professor Esther Care
03 8344 0975
Director, Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre
Esther is a senior academic with a history in psychology in the field and higher education. She leads international large scale research associated with assessment of 21st century skills, educational assessment, and education reform.
International projects include development of assessments of 21st century skills in the Asia Pacific and Africa. These projects are undertaken with UNESCO, the Global Partnership in Education, University of Oslo, Australian Council of Educational Research, and participating countries. Research in curriculum reform and the impact of this for assessment and pedagogy, is undertaken in countries as diverse as Kenya, South Africa, and Mexico, and particularly in the Philippines where Esther directs the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre based at the University of the Philippines.
Dr. BM Monjurul Alom
03 9035 7880
Monjurul works on software development specifically for the assessment of 21st century skills, including collaborative problem solving.
He programs online assessment tasks and scoring algorithms. Monjurul has proficiency in web programming (game development, database application) and server administration.
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Nafisa specialises in the design, development and implementation of web-based educational assessments, reporting and other data collection tools.
She manages system integration and architecture for traditional and innovative, individual and collaborative assessments for students in multiple languages. Her research includes data management, analysis, and item writing.
Daniel Jimenez Barrios
03 8344 0488
Daniel Jimenez is currently holding one of the Programmer positions of the Assessment Research Centre. He specialises in the development of a wide spectrum of enterprise level solutions, which include web, client/server and desktop applications.
His expertise encompass the development of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) modules, Control Systems, Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Business Intelligence/Analytics (BI) within a rich variety of business contexts such as car manufacturing, utilities, health and education.
He has a sound career in database management, data modeling, data extraction, data consolidation and data transformation for the most successful relational database management systems. He is also skilled in forecasting, simulation and optimisation. Daniel’s interests focus on SDLC best practices.
Dr Bruce Beswick
03 9035 8718
Bruce is responsible for coordinating dissemination of research output including research volumes, book chapters, journal articles, web copy and media releases.
He is also involved in item and test writing. He completed a PhD on aesthetic judgement in 2012.
Megan has worked across a variety of international educational contexts employed as an educator and administrator.
Her work involves teaching in the Assessment for Teaching program, Clinical Teaching and Learning and Leading Assessment. She has a special interest in assessment in an international context.
Dr Matthew Courtney
03 8344 6554
Matthew's skills and expertise lie in the fields of educational measurement, statistics, quantitative research designs in education, and the social sciences.
He has multiple peer-reviewed journal publications, several book chapters, and experience as a masters and doctoral supervisor.
Matthew’s area of interest is quite broad having taken part in projects related to the quantitative modelling of child and adult learning and development across Australasia and Africa.
Narelle teaches across the post-graduate programs.
She designs and implements assessment for teaching programs in the Master of Teaching, Master of Education, as well as in various professional development programs. This work has as a keystone a formative assessment approach.
Dr Eeqbal Hassim
03 9035 7707
Senior Research Fellow
Eeqbal is Senior Research Fellow at the Assessment Research Centre, based at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne. His work focuses on intercultural education and education in international contexts, in particular the intersection of learning, teaching and assessment.
Dr Rebekah Luo
03 8344 8432
Rebekah’s research interests lie in children’s learning and academic achievement, particularly in the areas of literacy and mathematics.
She completed her PhD in Paediatrics and Psychology in 2014 at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw
03 9388 0083
Barry McGaw is currently serving as Interim Director of the Assessment Research Centre on a 0.4 appointment. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and an Emeritus Professor of Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.
He had earlier been Director for Education at the OECD in Paris, Executive Director of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and Professor of Education at Murdoch University. He began his professional career as a secondary school science teacher in Queensland, Australia. He was the foundation Chair of the Board of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
Dr Cuc Nguyen
03 8344 9540
Senior research fellow
Cuc has extensive experience in large-scale survey design (sampling design, instrument development, data management and data analysis).
Her strengths are in development and validation of instruments for measuring competencies, application of Item Response Theory, Structural Equation Modelling and Multi-level Modelling.
Dr Jason Pietzner
03 8344 8699
Jason has worked in primary and secondary schools where he has held a variety of leadership positions including staff professional development and year level coordination. He currently teaches a range of subjects in the MGSE in the area of assessment, pedagogy, and philosophy of education.
Jason completed a PhD that examined the development of philosophical thinking in secondary students in 2014.
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Masa has international experience conducting large scale surveys of learning achievement.
Her expertise involves conducting and managing data collections including developing protocols and quality assurance. She is also skilled in instrument development and analyses. She has been an invited consultant on large scale studies in Southern Africa and South East Asia.
03 9035 8703
Claudia is the Centre Coordinator responsible for the management of the Centre and supporting the academic staff at the ARC.
Claudia is a senior executive officer with extensive experience in management, having worked in the university in a variety of roles. Her tasks include finance and budgeting, human resources, event support, research and project support.
Dr Claire Scoular
03 9035 9879
Claire's work focuses on the improvement of measurement practices in education. Her expertise is embedded in the application and statistical analysis of psychological measurement.
Recent investigations have centered around measurement methodology and application for 21st century skills, including traditional and automated test delivery systems.
03 8344 9536
Jane lectures across post-graduate programs and has a background in special education. Her interest lies in supporting teachers' instruction of all learners through development and interpretation of high-quality assessment and learning progressions.
Professor Mark Wilson
03 8344 8840
Professor of Assessment
Mark's interests focus on measurement and applied statistics.
His work spans a range of issues in measurement and assessment from the development of new statistical models for analysing measurement data, to the development of new assessments in subject matter areas such as science education, patient-reported outcomes and child development, to policy issues in the use of assessment data in accountability systems.
Dr Kerry Woods
Kerry’s research has focused on the design and validation of assessment and reporting practices that support teachers’ delivery of personalised learning programs for their students with additional needs.
She leads research programs and conducts teaching in the area of assessment for students with additional learning needs.
Dr Zhonghua Zhang
03 9035 8597
Zhonghua’s expertise lies in the area of educational measurement and statistics.
He works on the application of advanced quantitative methods in educational and psychological studies. His studies have been published in refereed journals, book chapters,and international academic conferences.
The Assessment Research Centre is involved in a wide range of teaching activities focused on educational measurement and assessment. Teaching is a vital method of dissemination and used to inform practices of teaching and learning.
The study of assessment with the staff of the ARC reflects the latest theoretical understanding, research methodology and analytical tools available in the field. Skills gained are cross-disciplinary and by their very nature are applicable to diverse fields of work.
The Assessment Research Centre offers subjects in the following Melbourne Graduate School of Education courses:
Master of Clinical Teaching
Use the latest evidence-based teaching methods to increase your impact on student outcomes.
Master of Education
Gain a strong foundation in education practice and theory with our Master of Education degree. Delve into contemporary education issues, connect with the latest developments in the field, and garner the expertise to move beyond the classroom.
Master of Instructional Leadership
Master of Teaching (Primary)
Master of Teaching (Secondary)
Subjects which are taught or co-taught by Assessment Research Centre staff include:
- Becoming a Clinical Practitioner (Early Childhood)
- Becoming a Clinical Practitioner (Primary)
- Becoming a Clinical Practitioner (Secondary)
- Clinical Teaching and Learning
- Evidence Based Learning and Teaching 1
- Evidence Based Learning and Teaching 2
- Integrating Clinical Practice (Primary)
- Integrating Language and Clinical Practice (Secondary)
- Leading Assessment
- Learning from Evidence
- The Student as Learner
- Using Data to Build Learning Pathways
The Assessment Research Centre is involved in a wide range of graduate research activities focused on promoting educational measurement and assessment.
The Assessment Research Centre involves is involved in a range of research development and teaching projects that focus on psychometrics, test development, performance and competency assessment in schools, higher education and workplaces.Read more
The Assessment Research Centre welcomes students who wish to complete post graduate study at the Assessment Research Centre.Read more
Current Research Students
Learn about the innovative research being undertaken by research students based at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education's Assessment Research Centre.Read more
The Assessment Research Centre publishes a wide range of written material including books, book chapters, journal articles and project-based reports. Certain publications may be available upon request. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, stating the title(s) you are interested in.
Assessment Research Centre
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
The University of Melbourne