Research Conference Program

Five days, 20 sessions, four keynote addresses and two intensive masterclasses. Explore the full Research Conference 2021 program below. It's not too late to catch up on recordings on demand.

All timings in AEST

Day 1: 16 August

Welcome to Research Conference 2021

Professor Geoff Masters

A conference welcome from our CEO.

Keynote

How education gets in the way of learning

10:00am – 11:00am

Professor Geoff Masters AO, ACER

ACER Chief Executive and renowned assessment expert Professor Geoff Masters will look at how education gets in the way of learning – and how current education systems and processes could be redesigned to improve teaching and learning for all.
 

How education gets in the way of learning Paper

General principles of learning progressions

11:15am – 12:15pm

Charlotte Waters, ACER

In this session, ACER Research Fellow Charlotte Waters will explore the field of research on learning progressions and consider how learning progressions might support schools and school systems to optimise learning for every student.
 

General principles of learning progressions Paper

Developing an assessment of oral language and literacy: Measuring growth in the early years

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Dr Dan Cloney & Kellie Picker, ACER

ACER researchers Dr Dan Cloney and Kellie Picker will share their work in assessing language and literacy growth in the early years.
 

Developing an assessment of oral language and literacy: Measuring growth in the early years Paper

30-minute break

This time without ‘feeling’: Children’s intuitive theories of art as a basis for learning progression in Visual Arts

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Dr Karen Maras, University of New South Wales

Dr Maras will explore how a better understanding of how students intuitively understand art at different points in their development can provide a basis for describing learning progression in art – a vexed issue in curriculum development.
 

This time without ‘feeling’: Children’s intuitive theories of art as a basis for learning progression in Visual Arts Paper

KARMEL ORATION: Excellent progress for all: A function of year level curriculum or evidence-based learning progressions?

3:15pm – 4:15pm

Professor Dianne Siemon, RMIT

Our 2021 Karmel Oration speaker, RMIT Emeritus Professor Dianne Siemon, will address this fascinating question: is excellent progress for all a function of year-level curriculum or evidence-based learning progressions?
 

KARMEL ORATION: Excellent progress for all: A function of year level curriculum or evidence-based learning progressions? Paper

PAT Case Study: A school's perspective – what is a year's growth?

Melissa Gould and Mark Redhead, Mansfield State High School, Queensland, with ACER's Marc Kralj

4.30pm – 5.30pm

Thousands of schools use ACER's Progressive Achievement (PAT) suite to ensure excellent progress for every student. In this session, leaders from Queensland's Mansfield State High School will share their experiences of using PAT assessments and teaching resources to measure a year of growth and target teaching where it's needed most.

Day 2: 17 August

Learning progressions as models and tools for supporting classroom assessment

10:00am – 11:00am

Associate Professor Alicia Alonzo, Michigan State University

Join Associate Professor Alonzo to look at the practical use of learning progressions in the classroom, and their effective integration with student assessment.

Learning progressions as models and tools for supporting classroom assessment Paper

Applying empirical learning progressions for a holistic approach to evidence-based education: SWANs/ABLES

11:15am – 12:15pm

Dr Emily White, University of Melbourne

Dr White will describe the practical use of learning progressions and teaching resources in a classroom setting with students with disability.

Applying empirical learning progressions for a holistic approach to evidence-based education: SWANs/ABLES Paper

Evidencing creativity and curiosity in IB schools

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Dr Sarah Richardson & Dr Sladana Krstic, ACER

ACER's Dr Richardson and Dr Krstic will describe their work with the International Baccalaureate Organisation to design a conceptual framework for assessing creativity and curiosity – valuable transversal attributes.
 

Evidencing creativity and curiosity in IB schools Paper

30-minute break

Exploring excellence in Indigenous education in Queensland secondary schools

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Dr Marnee Shay, Dr Jodie Miller and Dr Suraiya Abdul Hameed, University of Queensland

Join leading academics from the University of Queensland, Aboriginal educator and researcher Dr Shay, Dr Miller and Dr Abdul Hameed, for this session on conceptualisations of excellence in Indigenous education.

Exploring excellence in Indigenous education in Queensland secondary schools Paper

Identifying and monitoring progress in collaboration skills

3:15pm – 4:15pm

Dr Claire Scoular, ACER

Leading general capabilities researcher and Program Chair of Research Conference 2021, Dr Scoular, discusses the challenges of defining and describing complex '21st century skills' like collaboration, and how ACER's work in the area is advancing our understanding of how to assess them.

Identifying and monitoring progress in collaboration skills Paper

Research Conference 2021 Showcase Showreel

In reimagining the traditional conference poster presentation, we asked education researchers, early career teachers and postgraduate candidates to send us a short video pitch of their work. These presentations were selected from the submissions we received. 

Day 3: 18 August

Keynote

Accountable assessment

10:00am – 11:00am

Professor Richard Lehrer, Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University Professor Rich Lehrer will share his work – undertaken with fellow keynote speaker Professor Mark Wilson (19 August, 10am) – to create a new assessment system that blends the best features of summative and formative assessments to provide reliable, actionable information for improving classroom instruction.
 

Accountable assessment Paper

Using assessment data to improve equity: How teachers use insights from the Scottish National Standardised Assessments

11:15am – 12:15pm

Dr Sarah Richardson & Dr Sladana Krstic, ACER

Join ACER's Dr Krstic and Dr  Richardson to explore the practical ways in which Scottish teachers combined data from the SNSA with their professional judgement to make decisions about targeting teaching interventions.

Using assessment data to improve equity: How teachers use insights from the Scottish National Standardised Assessments Paper

Interpreting learning progress using assessment scores: what is there to gain?

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Dr Nathan Zoanetti, ACER

In this session Dr Zoanetti will use ACER's flagship PAT assessments as the context for exploring common pitfalls when quantifying and interpreting the gains made by individual students between successive assessments.

Interpreting learning progress using assessment scores: what is there to gain? Paper

30-minute break

Leading system transformation: A work in progress

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Greg Whitby, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

Join Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Executive Director Mr Whitby in exploring the challenges of effecting systemwide change.

Leading system transformation: A work in progress Paper

Making excellent progress in early reading: How can the identification of essential skills and concepts help?

3:15pm – 4:15pm

Dr Dara Ramalingam, ACER

ACER's Dr Ramalingam will use the example of early reading to consider how a focus on a learning area's essential concepts and skills might assist all students to make excellent progress.

Making excellent progress in early reading: How can the identification of essential skills and concepts help? Paper

2020/2021 Graduation Ceremony: Graduate Certificate of Education

Graduates from ACER's Graduate Certificate in Education: Assessment of Student Learning are usually celebrated in a dedicated session at our in-person conferences. This year, our graduation ceremony on 10 August went virtual.

Day 4: 19 August

Keynote

Rethinking measurement for accountable assessment

10:00am – 11:00am

Professor Mark Wilson, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Melbourne

In this session, Professor Wilson frames and exemplifies a model of assessment in which classroom-dependent and classroom-independent tasks together provide actionable information for improving instruction.

Rethinking measurement for accountable assessment Paper

Supporting science teaching practice with learning progressions

11:15am – 12:15pm

Professor Erin Furtak, University of Colorado Boulder

Dr Furtak will share her work with teachers and school leaders to co-design science learning progressions and use them within a design cycle for formative assessment.

Supporting science teaching practice with learning progressions Paper

How might we identify and measure learning progression in History?

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Dr Louise Zarmati, University of Tasmania

In this session, Dr Zarmati will share her research on efforts to map and describe progress in the learning area of History.

How might we identify and measure learning progression in History? Paper

30-minute break

The SWANs/ABLES Project: A resource developed by and for teachers to support the teaching and learning of students with additional learning needs

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Dr Toshiko Kamei, University of Melbourne

Dr Kamei will describe how the SWANs/ABLES resources and assessments help teachers target teaching to meet individual student needs based on strengths not starting points.

The SWANs/ABLES Project: A resource developed by and for teachers to support the teaching and learning of students with additional learning needs Paper

Reporting student progress: What might it look like?

3:15pm – 4:15pm

Dr Hilary Hollingsworth & Jonathan Heard, ACER; Anthony Hockey, St Mary’s Primary School & Tegan Knuckey, Balwyn High School, Victoria

ACER's Dr Hilary Hollingsworth and Jonathan Heard’s Communicating Student Learning Progress research (2019) has prompted some schools to more effectively communicate learning progress through reporting, making it more meaningful for students and parents. Two leaders from Victorian schools – Anthony Hockey of St Mary's Primary School, Williamstown, and Tegan Knuckey of Balwyn High School – will join them to share more about their work in this regard.

Reporting student progress: What might it look like? Paper

Thank you for joining us

Professor Geoff Masters

Thank you for watching. We hope you enjoyed our Research Conference 2021 program of presentations from world-leading thinkers in educational research and practice. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!

Masterclass session 1: 20 August

Keynote

Learning progressions in reading and mathematics

10:00am – 2:00pm

Charlotte Waters, Prue Anderson, Ross Turner, Sandra Knowles, Dara Ramalingam, Stavroula Zoumboulis and Kat McGill, ACER

Masterclass session 2: 25 August

Keynote

Learning progressions in reading and mathematics

10:00am – 2:00pm

Charlotte Waters, Prue Anderson, Ross Turner, Sandra Knowles, Dara Ramalingam, Stavroula Zoumboulis and Kat McGill, ACER