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Thinking differently about assessment with Professor Geoff Masters

Thinking differently about assessment with Professor Geoff Masters

In today’s video Teacher magazine sits down with Australian Council for Educational Research CEO Professor Geoff Masters AO to discuss new ways of thinking about assessment.

Masters says there’s a traditional way of thinking of assessment, that is, assessment is the process of judging how well students have learnt what they’ve been taught.

‘Those assessments can be undertaken during the course of teaching which is helpful for providing feedback, identifying gaps where students may not have mastered what’s been taught, things that need to be retaught, or at the end of a teaching period,’ he says.

‘But what I’m saying is that another way of thinking about assessment is to think of it as the process of establishing and understanding where students are in their learning. Where are they up to? What do they know? What do they understand? What can they do at this point in time?’

Masters says that if educators think about assessment in that way, they can then use that information to think about what they would teach next and what challenging goals they would set.

‘So it’s a different way of thinking about assessment as the tracking of student learning over time,’ he says.


Professor Geoff Masters has written extensively about the topic of assessment in his monthly Teacher column.

ACER is pursuing a new approach to assessment through its ACER Certificates program in Mathematics and Reading. Open to all students in Australia, the certificates recognise excellence and assess knowledge and skills, independent of school year. Visit the website to find our more and to enrol for the November assessment.

How are you monitoring student progress?

How can you use this information to inform future teaching and learning goals?

Rick 26 September 2017

Tracking student learning over time does not seem like a new approach to assessment. I’d be interested to know why this is thought to be a new approach.
Haven’t we always sought to assess learning over time rather than just at single points of time?
Perhaps this concept could be unpacked further.

Rebecca Vukovic 27 September 2017

Hi Rick, Geoff Masters unpacks the idea of assessment of learning progress over time, not simply assessment at various points in time, in more detail in Thanks, Rebecca (Teacher magazine)

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