It was indeed timely that Research Conference “Learning Assessments: Designing the Future” organized by Australian Council of Education Research addressed the theme of advancement in the use of assessment for new thinking, new metrics and new technologies. Researchers from Australia and overseas participated in highly productive panel discussions and paper presentations for 3 days focusing on
- designing assessments to improve learning for children and young people
- assessing general capabilities such as ICT, creativity and problem solving
- using new technologies for teaching and assessment
- assessment issues for Indigenous students
Rukmini Banerjee, Director ASER India delivered an inspiring key note highlighting that learning lies at the heart of assessment and assessment must lead to an action. “Children’s learning is an issue of national importance and therefore all assessment must lead to concrete action.” Quoting an example, she shared that ASER assessment provides an excellent practical illustration of what ‘new thinking’ about assessment can lead to. The ASER instruments are designed to establish clearly where individuals are in their reading and this information can further be used to target teaching and learning at an appropriate level.
The conference also included sessions on transforming landscape including changes in thinking about the fundamental purposes of assessment; growing demands for the assessment of a broader range of student skills and capabilities; and new technologies to allow us to gather and visualize information about student learning more efficiently and thoroughly than ever before. It served as a platform for all practitioners to enhance information as well as inspiration to contribute towards designing the future of assessment!
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