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Unit rationale, description and aim

Teachers need to develop relevant skills to help them successfully design, implement and manage assessment tasks, make well informed, professional judgements to support students’ learning, and interrogate collected data to improve their teaching practices.  Pre-service teachers must be literate in assessment theory and the design and implementation of specific approaches to assessment in their teaching areas.

This unit facilitates the development of pre-service teachers’ knowledge, understanding and skills in assessment. It supports curriculum and pedagogy units and builds upon the foundation of Education Studies units. Pre-service teachers will examine contemporary assessment theories, policies, practices and technologies and will apply their acquired knowledge and skills to construct a variety of assessment tasks within the contexts of their teaching areas. Pre-service teachers will develop knowledge and understanding of principles and strategies to provide feedback for students and report to parents/carers and other significant stakeholders in the educative process.

This unit aims to provide pre-service teachers with opportunities to analyse, interpret and moderate assessment data to arrive at credible conclusions and to make recommendations for the improvement of teaching practices.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Apply knowledge of contemporary assessment theories, practices and technologies in the construction of a wide range of reliable and valid assessment tasks and strategies to assess student learning within simulated but authentic curricular contexts. (APST 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 5.1, 5.2)
LO2Collect evidence of student learning and analyse and moderate quantitative and qualitative results to improve student learning and teaching practices. (APST 3.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 7.1)
LO3Interpret and integrate evidence from various sources such as classroom, school and system-based data sets and reports to guide student learning. (APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 6.3)
LO4Explain a range of strategies for providing students with timely feedback and for reporting to parents/carers and engaging them in the educative process. (APST 3.7, 5.2, 5.5, 7.2, 7.3)


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

5.5 Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.


Topics will include:

  • Theories of assessment, feedback and evaluation; major types, concepts and purposes of assessment (including formal and informal; diagnostic, formative and summative; feed-up, feedback and feed-forward)
  • Measurement theory; major concepts and philosophical implications (including classical test theory and item response theory; norm, criterion and standards referenced; quantitative and qualitative measures)
  • Contemporary policy and practice in assessment in secondary contexts; international, national and local approaches and influences; interpreting systems-based assessment data and presentations
  • Principles of quality assessment; validity, reliability, fitness-for-purpose, integrating the teaching, learning and assessment cycle, constructive curriculum alignment
  • Strategies for curriculum-driven assessment practices; incorporating teaching area achievement standards and General Capabilities (including literacy, numeracy and ICT demands), front-ending and backwards mapping, establishing criteria and standards for success
  • Strategies for aligning assessment to the specific needs of diverse learners; setting specific learning goals, scaffolding performance, modifying and differentiating assessment tasks, conditions and expectations
  • Strategies for communicating about assessment with learners; developing assessment task descriptions, illustrating quality performance; formative and summative feedback, self- and peer- assessment, informing and engaging parents/carers and other community stakeholders
  • Strategies for using assessment to monitor learning to evaluate and modify teaching practices; classroom observations, formal and informal formative assessments, drafting processes and practices, self- and peer- feedback, monitoring student work samples, monitoring student perceptions and motivations
  • Strategies for making professional judgements of student performance; professional expertise, guides for making professional judgements (including marking guides, checklists, rubrics), cognitive commentaries, moderation
  • Strategies for recording, analysing and interpreting assessment data; data storage and presentation, analytic tools and techniques (including qualitative and quantitative strategies; descriptive and inferential statistics; graphs, charts and checklists), mining work samples and data for evidence of student learning and performance
  • Strategies for reporting on student learning; ethical data practices, professional standards of communication, formal feedback practices, reporting to parents/carers, school reporting processes.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies the principles of active learning to facilitate pre-service teachers’ understanding of the principles and practices of assessment and their skills in developing assessment tasks. They will have opportunities to build up their understanding of assessment concepts and strategies through critical reading, modelling, active engagement and rehearsing in tutorials. Teaching skills of professional communication will be developed through online discussions and the construction of a parent/carer communication plan. Understanding of assessment, and the ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing assessment plans for a specific class. Placement in a school will enable engagement with experienced practitioners and to make links between theory and its application to classroom contexts. Pre-service teachers will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of their attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate, in the Digital Portfolio.

The unit will involve structured formal input, critical analysis of assigned resources and tutorials with discussion, written activities and on-going assessment tasks. Teaching approaches may include:

  1. Formal online weekly input by the teaching team and moderated by a panel of guests of experienced practitioners and teachers
  2. Assigned weekly readings
  3. Access of nominated resources
  4. Online activities.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.


Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants.

On Campus

Most learning activities or classes are delivered at a scheduled time, on campus, to enable in-person interactions. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully online using an active, guided learning approach. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions and receive regular and timely feedback on their learning. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to demonstrate progressively their achievement against the unit learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards. This unit supports and complements the suite of curriculum and pedagogy units in this course. This suite of units builds upon pre-service teachers’ knowledge of the content of their teaching areas. They focus on pedagogical knowledge, understanding and skills that are relevant to their teaching areas as portrayed by the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST): Graduate level. In this unit the major assessment tasks focus on the construction of informed assessment procedures and practices which incorporate contemporary educational thought, understanding of the psychology of learning, and modern technologies. As well as employing the practices of collecting, analysing, interpreting and actioning quantitative and qualitative student assessment data to evaluate student learning.

The two assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development of knowledge in purpose and forms of assessments and communicating with parents/carers in the educative process. Assessment Task 1 requires the development of an assessment portfolio which simulates the process of authentic classroom assessment. Assessment Task 2 allows pre-service teachers to use their creativity in developing communication strategies to parents and carers of diverse learners. 

Note that Assessment Task 1 and Assessment Task 2 are both Critical Tasks.


Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome within at the teaching areas of the pre-service teachers. Their input should reflect specialised knowledge and skills for research and teacher professional practice at the graduate level. All assessments tasks in this unit are Critical Tasks. Pre-service teachers must submit every task and demonstrate mastery of every summative Graduate Teacher Standard identified and attain a score of at least 50% for each and every task.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Assessment Portfolio

Critical Task

Develop an assessment portfolio, corresponding to a unit of work for your first or major teaching area for a selected year level, from years 7-10. Annotate the portfolio to demonstrate (1) how features of quality assessment are incorporated, and (2) how the portfolio demonstrates the APST at the graduate level, focussing on APST5. 

The portfolio should include:

Part A Theoretical Principles, Assessment Policy and Practice

  • Approach to assessment theory, measurement theory and principles of quality assessment identified in core policy, curriculum and state-based documents and how the approaches are relevant to secondary schools and teachers in the planning and implementing teaching and learning cycles.
  • Identification of up to five (5) theoretical and philosophical principles, connecting to relevant literature, that underpin the approach taken to assessment in the portfolio; 

Part B Assessment Design, Construction and Systems

  • Design of a summative assessment for the unit, including construction of communication tools and/or strategies for students and parents/carers
  • Alignment of the assessment with specific curriculum content for the teaching area and related General Capabilities, including literacy, numeracy and ICT demands
  • Development of guides and resources for making judgements of the summative assessment, including but not limited to a comprehensive rubric covering A-E achievement standards
  • Identification of possible assessment modifications and/or additional resources and supports for students with disabilities
  • Identification of prior to learning data sources and a screening assessment, covering curriculum content and skills and relevant literacy, numeracy and/or ICT demands
  • Development of goals and resources for supporting a diverse range of learners working above, at and below standard to engage with and meet the expectations of the summative assessment
  • Design of a formative assessment and feedback plan across the unit of work, including a variety of formative assessment and feedback strategies and activities to monitor and support student learning and progress
  • Construction of communication tools, scaffolds and resources for one of your planned formative assessment and feedback strategies or activities
  • Design and construction of systems and strategies for collating, presenting, analysing, interpreting and reporting student assessment data across the unit of work
  • Design of systems and strategies for ensuring consistent and comparable judgements, including at least two moderation practices
  • A reflection on how the assessment plan will support student learning and facilitate the monitoring of learning to evaluate and modify teaching practice. 
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LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 2: Parent/Carer and Student Reporting Plan

Critical Task

Develop a reporting plan for parents/carers and students in your second or minor teaching area* for a selected year level, from years 7-9. The plan must include a detailed outline for the collation and presentation of a wide range of systemic, standardised and school-based data and evidence for showcasing a student’s learning and development and should be based upon authentic practice and a critical analysis of the relevant literature.

Your plan should demonstrate a range of strategies to:

  • Involve parent/carers and community in the educative process, including strategies for before, during and after learning sequences or units of work
  • Engage with students and parents/carers sensitively and confidentially from diverse backgrounds
  • Report to students and parents/carers - ways to highlight learning successes and challenges for students working above, at, and below expectations should be included
  • Ensure the accuracy, security and ethical use of data and evidence of student learning.

*Where a student has only one teaching area, this plan should be developed for a different year level from that used in Task 1.


LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Brookhart, S. M., & Nitko, A. J. (2018). Educational assessment of students (8th ed.). Pearson.

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents.


Recommended references

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2018). Classroom assessment and pedagogy. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 25(6), 551-575.

Brady, L., & Kennedy K. (2018). Assessing and reporting: Celebrating student achievement (5th ed.). Pearson Australia.

Deneen, Fulmer, Brown, Tan, Leong, & Tay. (2019). Value, practice and proficiency: Teachers' complex relationship with assessment for learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 80, 39-47. 

Furtak, E. M., Kiemer, K., Circi, R. K., Swanson, R., de León, V., Morrison, D., & Heredia, S. C. (2016). Teachers’ formative assessment abilities and their relationship to student learning: findings from a four-year intervention study. Instructional Science, 44(3), 267-291.

Gallagher, K. (2018). Why student creation is the hardest/best form of assessment. Tech & Learning, 39(4), 17

Miller, M., Linn, R., & Gronlund, N. (2013). Measurement and assessment in teaching (11th international ed.). Pearson Education Inc.

Readman, K., Allen, B., & Reinertsen, N. (2020). Practical planning and assessment Ebook. Oxford University Press.

Romero, L., Saucedo, C., Caliusco, M., & Gutiérrez, M. (2019). Supporting self-regulated learning and personalization using ePortfolios: A semantic approach based on learning paths. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 1-16. 

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