Enterprise Professor Sandra Milligan
03 9035 7801
Sandra Milligan is Director and Enterprise Professor with 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.
Associate Professor Suzanne Rice
03 8344 0950
Deputy Director, Assessment Research Centre
Associate Professor Suzanne Rice is the Deputy Director of the Assessment Research Centre. She has researched and published widely in the areas of testing policy and the impact of high-stakes testing programs. Her other research interests include teacher motivation and pathways, and career development provision in schools.
Associate Professor Rice coordinates teaching activity and research supervision within the ARC. She led the establishment of the award-winning Master of Clinical Teaching (now the Master of Education in Evidence-Based Practice), and she is a member of the Melbourne College of Reviewers, an expert panel that supports University of Melbourne staff to strengthen further the quality and relevance of their teaching.
Dr BM Monjurul Alom
03 9035 7880
BM Monjurul Alom is presently a Programmer at the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia. 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.
He has developed ARC online testing system, registration portal system, multiplayer collaborative games and scoring engine to assess the ability of students, which is being used in schools in Australia and Internationally. His research also includes data mining and management for large scale databases.
He completed a PhD (Computer Science) in 2011 at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He was an Assistant Professor at Dhaka University of Engineering & Technology from 2000–2007.
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. She is also involved in data management, analysis and item writing.
Her research interests are focused on the assessment and measurement of 21st century skills, including application of novel technologies in delivering automated tests and reporting to teachers and students.
Dr Bruce Beswick
03 9035 8718
Research Fellow & Publications Officer
In his role as Research Fellow, Bruce works across a range of projects developing assessment materials and exploring challenges in assessment practice. His most recent work has focused on the assessment of general capabilities and the arts. Bruce’s main interest is in the exploration of differences in evaluation and judgement and he completed a PhD on aesthetic judgement in 2012. In his role as Publications Officer, Bruce is responsible for writing and editing research output, including academic volumes, book chapters, journal articles and web copy.
03 8344 6857
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.
03 9035 5748
Narelle English is a Research Fellow, Lecturer in assessment and Doctoral candidate at the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne. Her research projects are assessment related and she works on projects relating to developmental learning and the design and development of data collection tools and assessments. She has designed and implemented assessment for teaching programs in the Master of Teaching, Master of Education, the Network of Schools project within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and the Department of Education’s Bastow Institute. She is currently working on projects with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) in formative assessment and the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership on a principal assessment.
Narelle has also taught and held leadership positions in department schools in Victoria, and overseas in the US state system and Japan.
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.
03 8344 4926
Principal Fellow and Professional Learning Specialist
Jayne is a Principal Fellow with the Assessment Research Centre (ARC) at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Her current research and development interests include the assessment and recognition of complex competencies, supporting schools and systems to understand and use developmental assessment tools to support teaching and personalise learning and explorations of alternate designs for credentialing student work at graduation.
Jayne has had over 20 years’ experience in senior executive positions in public education departments in WA, ACT and SA with roles including curriculum and assessment design, leadership development and the design of improvement and accountability systems. Prior to joining the ARC, Jayne was Deputy Chief Executive in the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development, responsible for leading preschool and school improvement in over 900 sites across the state. She was a board member of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority and served on a number of national and state level working parties. Jayne began her career as a secondary mathematics teacher in WA where she led the development of the First Steps in Mathematics teaching and learning resources and was founding director of the WA Professional Learning Institute.
A former teacher, Toshiko has been involved in a project to develop resources to assess foundational skills in students with disability as well as other projects to investigate the assessment of general capabilities in students from foundation to year 12 level.
Toshiko’s research interests include the assessment of complex competencies, measurement theory, and raising the capacity of teachers to educate all students.
Dr Thida Kheang
Thida is a research fellow at the Assessment Research Center. He works on projects relating to educational assessment, curriculum review, and school leadership.
He has experiences working on education projects in different contexts, mainly in Southeast Asia. His areas of expertise/interests relate to qualitative research, education policy, teacher education, and educational leadership.
03 9035 4677
Debbie’s work includes managing the financial, human resources and administrative functions of the Centre.
Debbie provides operational advice and support to ARC staff and students in accordance with University policies and procedures.
Dr Rebekah Luo
03 8344 8432
Rebekah’s area of interest and expertise is in the assessment of general capabilities or 21st century skills.
She leads research and consultancy projects relating to the development of instruments to assess capabilities and skills such as intercultural capability, critical thinking, etc.
Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw
03 9388 0083
Barry McGaw 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).
03 9035 5077
Ruth is the Administrative Officer within the Assessment Research Centre. Working closely with the Project Manager, Ruth provides a high level of administrative support to the Centre to ensure the delivery of the core Centre outcomes. In addition Ruth provides day to day support for the Centre Director and assists in the administration of HR associated issues.
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 Nives Nibali
03 8344 8207
Nives works on projects that involve supporting educators in the assessment of and planning for students of all learning abilities.
Her work includes supporting educators of school and preschool students and seeks to research and share evidence-based practices for improving the progress of individual students. She is passionate about growth equity in education which includes supporting progress for high and low ability students commensurate with other students.
Dr Jason Pietzner
03 8344 8699
Dr Pietzner is employed at the ARC as a lecturer. His PhD examined the development of critical thinking in secondary students. Before this Dr Pietzner worked in primary and secondary schools for a period of 18 years where he was a generalist primary and VCE philosophy and English teacher as well as holding a variety of leadership positions. Dr Pietzner has lectured in a range of subjects in the MGSE in the areas of assessment, pedagogy, and philosophy of education and has supervised teacher candidates in schools. Jason is currently involved in national and international projects with schools and education departments in the areas of general capabilities assessment, micro-credentialing and competency based education.
03 9035 4425
Hilary Slater is a Project Manager at the Assessment Research Centre.
Her work includes responsibility for project management within the Assessment Research Centre, including driving the establishment, implementation and monitoring of research, teaching and consulting projects. She also acts as Project Manager for several of the Centre’s large-scale projects.
Dr Jane Strickland
03 8344 9773
Jane lectures across post-graduate programs and has a background in teaching primary, secondary and special education. Her interest lies in supporting teachers' instruction of all learners through development and interpretation of high-quality assessment and associated learning progressions.
She completed her PhD focused on development and use of learning progressions of emergent numeracy in 2018.
Professor Mark Wilson
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.
Mr Richard Xu
Chief Technology Officer
Richard works as the Chief Technology Officer for ARC’s new Ruby assessment platform - a major, world class, research-based, strategic initiative of the Assessment Research Centre, designed to support the implementation of competency-based, evidence-oriented teaching and learning. Richard oversees its architecture design, development, security and governance. Richard pushes this platform to be cloud-based and also on-premises capable, with modern technologies and practices. By working closely with researchers, Richard is able to demonstrate outstanding research-based pedagogy results, from a robust enterprise grade software system. Ruby system has been successfully rolled out for the clients like Ministry of Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Department of Education and Training, Victoria and Latrobe Valley Authority.
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.
Lalaine Bagui is a Research Officer at ACTRC. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Education (Physics Education) at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, where she earned her Bachelor of Secondary Education. Prior to joining ACTRC, Lalaine took part in two research projects, namely the Review of Muslim Education Initiatives (MEIR) and the Validation of SWANs in the Philippines (PRIME). Also, she has taught Science and Mathematics to high school students.
Dr Therese Bustos has served as ACTRC’s Philippine Director since 2014. She is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and the former Dean of the College of Education. She is the Chair of the Technical Committee for Special Education and a member of the Technical Panel on Teacher Education of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
She is active in research on Philippine basic education with a focus on inclusion and persons with disabilities. Her recent roles in research on inclusive education include Lead Researcher of the Incorporating Disability in the Conditional Cash Transfer Program and Project Director of the Philippines Response to Indigenous Peoples and Muslim Education Program. Her other research interests are student achievement and deaf literacy.
Louie Cagasan Jr. is a Research Officer of Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre, based in the University of the Philippines, and is currently involved in the Review of Philippine K-12 Curriculum. He was the Project Lead for the study of Formative Assessment in the Philippines (Phase 2 and 3). His contribution to other ACTRC projects included doing psychometric analysis, facilitating discussions with teachers to generate learning progressions, and providing technical advice on development and contextualisation of assessment instruments.
He had been part of different assessment projects such as the Learning and Assessment for Digital Citizenship at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong and the Development of Masaklaw na Panukat ng Loob, a Filipino Personality Inventory at the Psychology Department, University of the Philippines. His research interests are in the areas of personality, educational and psychological assessment, and the use of assessment to teaching and learning.
Professor Esther Care
Esther Care, a Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development Program in Washington DC, is engaged in identification of effective assessment practices that inform policy, and classroom teaching and learning. She works extensively in the Asia Pacific and Africa to provide evidence-based advice to ministries of education implementing or planning to implement major education reform. With the increasing focus globally on the need to promote transferable competencies, such as problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration, she works with groups of countries to identify how to incorporate these skills into the educational process. She also leads and participates in working groups convened by UNESCO Institute of Statistics to consider strategies for monitoring progress against the Sustainable Development Goals and particularly goal 4.7 which attends to education for sustainable development and global citizenship. Professor Care has a background in educational psychology, and assessment of enabling and 21st century skills.
Linda is Associate Professor of Learning Analytics at Swinburne University of Technology. She has more than 18 years’ experience working in higher education and has taught in the fields of education, business, and IT. Her research interests include learning analytics, educational technology, assessment, feedback and learning design. She is currently working on several research projects exploring how learning analytics can be used to provide meaningful and timely feedback to academics and students. Linda is co-founder of the Victorian/Tasmanian Learning Analytics Network and is a co-ordinator of the ASCILITE Learning Analytics Special Interest Group.
Lynn has expertise in leading policy advice and programs to support improved teaching and learning practices in schools. Lynn led the Victorian New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) Cluster, which is part of the NPDL Global Partnership, with seven participating countries, led by Michael Fullan. NPDL focuses on the pillars of pedagogical practices, learning environments, leveraging digital and learning partnerships and how they can be used to plan teaching and learning programs, which provide opportunities for deep learning.
Lynn has extensive experience supporting and driving innovation and educational reform, building collective efficacy for successful school change. Lynn has worked as a teacher, school leader, university lecturer and senior public servant. She is a highly regarded educator, who has been recognised locally and internationally for her work in learning and teaching and how to embed digital technologies to add value.
Lynn has an interest in designing professional learning and is currently the UMNOS 18 Coordinator.
Xerxes De Castro
Xerxes de Castro is a Research Officer at the Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre. He is in charge of the Baseline Study on Language Match and Teacher Assignment in BARMMand theAlternative Delivery Mode (ADM) Project-end Evaluation Study. His previous projects include the Independent Disbursement-Linked Indicator Verification Agent for the Learning, Equity and Accountability Program Support (LEAPS) Projectand the Longitudinal Study of Learning Achievement of Students in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (LearnARMM).
A licensed teacher, Xerxes is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Education at the University of the Philippines Diliman, with a focus on language education. His thesis work explores the challenges experienced and strategies used by Grade 4 teachers in bridging between languages.
Mai is a lecturer at Vietnam National University and a PhD alumni of ARC. From July to October 2018, she visited the center under the sponsorship of Endeavour Executive Award for distinguished professionals in Asia, which results positively in publications with the centre staff. Mai has intensive experience in language teaching and assessment at all levels of education. She has also been intensively and extensively involved in nation-wide English teaching and assessment projects in Vietnam with the National Foreign Language Project, the Russian Educational Aid for Development, British Council and American Embassy. Her expertise lies in developing and validating assessment instruments in general education and language education, designing assessment literacy courses for a variety of educational stakeholders and competence-based assessment.
Marlene Ferido served as Curriculum Program Leader of the Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre (ACTRC) since its establishment in 2013 until her appointment as Deputy Director of the Centre in August 2019. She was project lead of ACTRC’s Science Curriculum Project, Progress of Students through the Science Curriculum and currently involved in the Curriculum Review project. Her area of interest includes curriculum development, assessment of student learning, and conceptual change.
Marlene completed a PhD Science Education (with specialisation in Chemistry) from the University of the Philippines (UP). She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of the Faculty of Education of UP Open University. As Science Education Specialist at UP National Institute for Science & Mathematics Education Development from 1997-2019, she led research and professional development projects in science education for teachers from Kenya, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Katherine has a background in health and education, in Victoria and the Northern Territory, at state and local government levels. She was recruited to MGSE from industry with a long, strong history in implementing changed systems and practices leading to improved outcomes in health and education.
As the Director of the University of Melbourne Network of Schools, 2013 – 2018, Katherine established and led the University of Melbourne Network of Schools, (UMNOS), engaging 109 schools to the end of 2018. UMNOS offers schools’ educational leaders (practitioners) partnership with world class researchers with the aim of improving student learning outcomes and to model this for the broader school education sector. UMNOS has been unique in its diversity, engaging schools from the richest to the poorest; from every sector, Government, Catholic and independent; primary, secondary and special; regional, rural and urban; with students from early learning to Year 12. UMNOS retained 109 of its 115 participating schools over the four years of operation to 2018.
For her work with UMNOS, Katherine was awarded the MGSE Engagement Excellence Award in 2017 and in the University of Melbourne Award for Excellence in Engagement Public Value in 2018.
As a public servant, Katherine held a number of senior positions at Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Regional Director level. For example, from 2008 to 2012 Katherine was the Regional Director of the Western Metropolitan Region (WMR) of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Victoria, including 142 schools with 77,500 students. The Western Metropolitan Region had a persistent history of poor performance. Katherine led the work in transforming the culture in school education, from a welfare focus – educators held low expectations and accepted poor learning outcomes – to a strong, confident, collaborative culture, committed to building student learning outcomes, and underpinned by very strong practice in student wellbeing. The success of this transformation was demonstrated by significant improvements in student learning outcomes, and student well-being measures, for example:
Using 2008 NAPLAN as a base year, compared to all regions, the region’s student data in literacy and numeracy showed the highest growth in student learning (effect size) between 2008 and 2012; and the biggest gains compared to the state mean in absolute data. School Wide Positive Behaviours Support evaluation data showed significant improvements in student well -being.
Katherine has a continuing interest in supporting leaders in education to effect significant improvements in students’ learning, drawing on the powers of collective efficacy to do this.
Dr Peter Hill is an Honorary Professorial Fellow within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.
He has held senior positions in education in Australia, the USA and Hong Kong, including as Chief Executive of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board, Chief General Manager of the Department of School Education in Victoria, Australia, Professor of Leadership and Management at The University of Melbourne, Director of Research and Development at the National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington D.C., Secretary General of the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority and Chief Executive of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
Peter’s expertise is in the areas of education administration, curriculum development, assessment and certification. He frequently advises and assists on system-level educational reform and review initiatives.
Joesal Jan Marabe, a Research Officer at the Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre, has extensive experience in the assessment of literacy, mathematics, science and 21st century skills. He has specialised knowledge in using IRT models especially Rasch model in the analysis of assessment data and the development of empirical learning progressions (proficiency scales) for interpretation of test results. He has been involved mainly in the two phases of the Science Curriculum Project and the Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) Project-end Evaluation Study. He provided technical assistance into various initiatives of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines including coding in TIMSS 2019 and PISA 2018, assessment of 21st century skills, drafting indicators for NCAE STEM track. Joesal is currently involved in the Review of Philippine K-12 Curriculum and the Baseline Study on Language Match and Teacher Assignment in BARMM. He is also pursuing a master’s degree in Statistics at the University of the Philippines. His main interest is in the application of statistical methods in solving problems in the field of education.
Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw AO
Barry McGaw is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the University of Melbourne, a Senior Fellow in the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) and an Emeritus Professor of Murdoch University. He was on the staff of the Assessment Research Centre part time as a Professorial Fellow in a series of roles from 2006 to 2019, including as Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute (2006-2008), Executive Director of the Cisco, Intel, Microsoft International Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills project (2009-2010) and Interim Director of the Assessment Research Centre (2015-2017) and as a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow (2011 to 2014).
Prior to returning to Australia at the end of 2005, Professor McGaw was Director for Education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) based in Paris. He had earlier been Executive Director of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and, prior to that, Professor of Education at Murdoch University. He began his professional career as a secondary school science teacher in Queensland. Dr McGaw is a psychologist. His research interests are educational assessment and policy and, more recently because of his role in the development of Australia’s first national curriculum, in curriculum development.
Dr McGaw holds a PhD in educational psychology and measurement from the University of Illinois, an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Murdoch University and a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian College of Educators.
Lea is the Research Coordinator of the Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre in the Philippines. She has extensively researched and has published on the Philippines mother-tongue based multilingual education program, and was one of the researchers commissioned by the World Bank to review some of the program's implementation areas. She is also involved in researches focusing on the assessment and integration of 21st century skills in the Philippines K-12 program.
Lea is currently completing her doctorate degree in social development and her current research interests are on languages in education and assessment of 21st century skills in low-resourced contexts.
Professor Rickards is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Assessment Research Centre, and is co-director of the Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre based in Manila. He is a Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne School of Government and leads research to policy for education and health in the early years.
He was Dean of Education at the University of Melbourne from August 2004 to July 2017. His was first appointed lecturer in audiology at the University of Melbourne in 1973 and joined the Faculty of Education in 1989 and became Professor of Education of the Hearing-Impaired in 1994. He was President of the Academic Board from 2003-July 2004. As Dean, he has guided the transformation of the Faculty of Education to a Graduate School and has reformed the professional training of teachers through the new clinical Master of Teaching program which develops graduates with the capabilities to meet the needs of individual learners. He was a member of the Commonwealth’s Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group in 2014.
In 1971, he was one of a small group to become the first research students with Professor Graeme Clark in the Bionic Ear program. His research that has led to the development of a computer-based brain wave audiometer (ASSR) to accurately measure hearing in newborn babies. The instrument is currently being manufactured in the USA. His move from audiology to education of the hearing impaired focussed his research on early detection (the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program) and early diagnosis of hearing impairment, early intervention (play development and social competence) and factors affecting the educational outcomes for hearing impaired.
He is a Fellow of the Audiological Society of Australia, the Australian College of Educators and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders. In 2013 received the Sir James Darling Medal from ACE (Victorian Branch) in recognition of his ‘profound’ impact on education in Victorian and Australia, and for his ‘ground-breaking work in teacher preparation and his passionate advocacy for the profession’. He has been awarded the tile of Dean Emeritus by the University for his ‘sustained transformational leadership’.
Mike manages the ANDI Project, based at Melbourne Graduate School of Education. With a background in democracy, human rights and community development, he has worked for over 20 years to develop new community, national and international social progress measures.
Mike has held honorary professorial appointments at Victoria University, RMIT, Deakin University and Toulouse University (France) and been an advisor to the Victorian Premier, the OECD, the UN Research Institute on Social Development, trade unions and local governments.
Dr Claire Scoular
Dr Claire Scoular’s research interest revolves around the assessment and teaching of 21st century skills. She has worked with numerous countries to identify and bridge the gap between their assessment, curriculum, and pedagogy in relation to skills. In particular, she has worked with many developing countries to review and development curriculum documentation, develop classroom-based assessment tools and generate teaching resources for skills including problem solving, collaboration, learning in digital networks, critical thinking, creative thinking, and self-regulation. She has been an active lecturer for many years and has developed courses in both traditional formats and online formats, including both the design of the content, and the assessment tasks. At the University of Melbourne, her PhD identified a measurement methodology of 21st century skills through automated scoring and test delivery systems. Claire gained her Masters Degree in Research Psychology from the University of Edinburgh and has experience working as a psychologist in diagnosis and intervention.
Dr. Mike Timms is Director of EdTech Evaluation, a consulting company dedicated to improving the effectiveness of education technology through applied research. He brings together decades of executive level business experience plus expertise in education research to help education systems be informed about how education technology works and how to make informed decisions about buying products.
Mike is highly experienced in running educational research and development projects and is a recognised leader in the development of innovative ways to assess students in digital learning environments.
Mike was formerly at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) where he held positions as Director of Research Development and Quality Assurance and Director of Assessment and Psychometric Research. While at ACER he led the development of high-quality assessments and conducted cutting edge research in educational measurement. Mike served on the executive of the Science of Learning Research Centre, in which researchers from education, neuroscience and cognitive psychology are working together with teachers to understand the learning process.
Prior to joining ACER, Mike was Associate Director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program at WestEd, a preeminent educational research and development organisation in the United States. He led large-scale research studies in STEM education, with special focus on computer-based assessment projects, especially through the SimScientists research program (www.simscientists.org). He was involved in the development of two assessment frameworks for the US National Assessment of Educational Progress for which he was awarded the Paul Hood award for excellence in educational research at WestEd.
Karen Underwood is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne. She was the Department of Education and Training’s industry partner representative on two Australian Research Council Linkage projects that resulted in the development of skill-based developmental pathways for student learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has a strong interest in the theory and practice of developmental assessment and has brought those understandings to her work on an assessment tool for children with disabilities in education and care settings.
Alongside her work with the university Karen is the manager of Learning Difficulties at the Department of Education and Training, and an adviser on adjustments for students with disabilities with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. She works with teachers, schools and regional staff to better understand and respond to student learners with disabilities.
Dr Kerry Woods
Dr Kerry Woods joined the Assessment Research Centre in 2002 and retired from her position as Senior Research Fellow in 2018. In her time at the Centre, Dr Woods specialised in the design and use of surveys and achievement testing materials for large scale programs of evaluation. She conducted evaluation studies of the deployment of native-speaking English teachers in Hong Kong primary and secondary schools, and of the impact of new technologies on learning outcomes for students in primary, secondary and special education schools. From 2006 onwards, her research interests centred on the design and validation of measures of communication and literacy to support teachers’ decisions about the instruction of their students with learning difficulties. Her work has led to the development of an integrated program of advice and support for teachers of students with additional learning needs – the SWANs program.
Margaret Wu has a background in statistics and educational measurement. She has had an extensive involvement in large-scale assessment programs including PISA and TIMSS. Margaret is a co-author of two item response modelling software programs: ACER ConQuest and TAM (an R package). She has recently published a textbook, Educational Measurement for Applied Researchers. Margaret has taught a number of courses in educational assessment, and conducted many workshops both in Australia and internationally.
Dr Nathan Zoanetti
Dr Nathan Zoanetti is currently Research Director of the Psychometrics and Methodology Program at the Australian Council for Educational Research and before that he was Principal Psychometrician at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. He has previously held research positions at the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne, including as Executive Officer of the NAP Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Measurement Advisory Group, and more recently as an Honorary Senior Fellow.
With professional experience in academia, government and the not-for-profit sector, Nathan is an established leader in applied educational measurement and assessment research and service delivery. His work has spanned numerous education settings and industries including school education, medical education, higher education, and professional licensure and language testing. Nathan has an advanced knowledge of contemporary psychometric and statistical methodologies and issues and is recognised for his broad research interests, including technology-enabled assessment design and analysis, the application of teacher judgement to align measurement scales, and the intersection of machine learning and psychometrics.
Nathan is currently a member of the OECD PISA 2021 Creative Thinking Expert Group and a member of England’s Standards and Testing Agency Technical Advisory Group. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2009.