Assessment and Evaluation at UNSW focuses on investigating and teaching current issues in assessment and evaluation, and in supporting the development of quality assessment and evaluation at the individual, school and system level. Our ultimate goal is to provide better assessment tools for teachers and to promote more effective student learning, hence we are also interested in testing and selection and system-wide accountability.

Broadly, our discipline includes the areas of:

  • Assessment for teaching and learning
  • Assessment for selection and certification
  • Measurement of student performance, achievement, attainment, competence, and growth
  • Factors influencing student achievement
  • Setting objective, criteria, and standards for student learning
  • Large-scale, national and international testing programs
  • School-based program evaluation.

Our goals are achieved through a range of research and approaches, including detailed case studies of effective policy and practice, collaborative action-oriented research and large scale survey and experimental research.


Key issues under investigation include the challenges of implementing assessment for/as learning in an accountability culture; accountability issues, and how systems, schools and providers respond to data; the relationship between performance management, accountability measures and performance of education and training providers; the effects of whole cohort testing on student achievement; teacher use of assessment data and its effect on learning and teaching, in particular teacher feedback/feed-forward; involving students in self/peer evaluation and feedback; defining and measuring quality of learning and teaching; and comparisons of approaches to assessment in schools internationally.

See our current HDR students here

Community Engagement

Head of School Professor Chris Davison recently completed the research and development of a range of oral school-based assessment initiatives for the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, and has also been working with the Ministries of Education in Singapore and in Brunei on integrating assessment for learning into their new curricula. With Dr Michael Michell (UNSW School of Education) she has just completed cross-sector parallel projects in NSW and Victoria on the design options for an assessment framework for ESL learners in schools.

Professor Davison is currently leading a multimillion dollar research project with Educational Assessment Australia researching and developing a teacher-based assessment framework for ESL learners in Victorian schools, funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood (DEECD), the Catholic Education office and Independent Schools Victoria.

Dr Jihyun Lee's current research activities include the work funded by the Korean Government (($740,000 for 3 years, “Promoting Positive School Climate”), in collaboration with Prof G. Jung at Pusan National University, South Korea. She is also part of the international research team, in collaboration with Prof R. Klassen in York University, UK to develop situational judgment tests for teacher selection for the NSW Department of Education & Communities, Australia as well as for Canada, UK, Ireland, Finland, and Hungary. Her previous engagement with Singaporean colleagues led to various projects on scale development such as values for Singapore primary school students and student confidence for secondary school students.

Postgraduate CourseworkPostgraduate Research
Videos Assessment & Evaluation, Learning & Teaching, School of Education, UNSW Australia   Assessment & Evaluation, Learning & Teaching, School of Education, UNSW Australia

Assessment allows one to see whether any learning has taken place: according to Dr Jihyun Lee it should be the cornerstone of any education system and policy making related to education. Hear more about how assessment and evaluation research is supported at the School of Education, UNSW.

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Videos Dr Jihyun Lee, Senior Lecturer at the UNSW School of Education   Dr Jihyun Lee, Senior Lecturer at the UNSW School of Education

Dr Jihyun Lee’s research focuses on the factors and national features in education systems across different countries that influence student achievement and performance overall. Hear what she has to say and how it relates to Assessment and Evaluation.

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Videos PhD student Dennis Alonzo, School of Education, UNSW Australia   PhD student Dennis Alonzo, School of Education, UNSW Australia

Hear more about Dennis Alonzo’s PhD research in assessment: he is developing a teachers’ assessment for learning literacy competency framework to help support students’ learning.

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