Assessment Research Centre

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.


Education measurement
Assessment tools and resources
Student achievement
21st century skills


ACTRC logo
Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre


  • Associate Professor Sandra Milligan
     Associate Professor Sandra Milligan
     03 9035 7801

    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.

Research Partners

  • Emeritus Professor Patrick Griffin
     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
     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
     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.

  • Nafisa Awwal
     Nafisa Awwal
     03 9035 4001

    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
     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
     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 Collins
     Megan Collins


    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
     Dr Matthew Courtney
     03 8344 6554

    Research Fellow

    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 English
     Narelle English

    Research fellow

    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
     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
     Dr Rebekah Luo
     03 8344 8432

    Research fellow

    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
     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
     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
     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.

  • Masa Pavlovic
     Masa Pavlovic
     03 8344 9543

    Research fellow

    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.

  • Pam Robertson
     Pam Robertson
     03 8344 9537

    Research fellow

    Pam works on projects relating to developmental learning and the use of assessment data to inform teaching.

    She also teaches courses in the areas of assessment and professional learning teams.

  • Dr Claire Scoular
     Dr Claire Scoular
     03 9035 9879

    Research fellow

    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.

  • Hilary Slater
     Hilary Slater
     03 9035 4425

    Project Manager

    Hilary’s work includes coordination and support of research and teaching projects.

    She provides Project Manager coordination of the centre’s large scale projects.

  • Jane Strickland
     Jane Strickland
     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
     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
     Dr Kerry Woods
     8344 9535

    Research fellow

    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
     Dr Zhonghua Zhang
     03 9035 8597

    Research fellow

    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.

Research Subjects

Subjects which are taught or co-taught by Assessment Research Centre staff include:

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:, stating the title(s) you are interested in.

Contact us


Postal address

Assessment Research Centre
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010