ACER progressive achievement model


The paradigm shift now required in assessment is from judging how much of a body of taught content students have successfully learnt to establishing where students are in their long-term learning and what progress they are making over time.
(Geoff Masters, 2011)

ACER’s progressive achievement model is used in thousands of schools around the world to monitor progress in key skill areas over a period of time that is during their schooling. What makes this model so popular is the described proficiency scale at the centre of each test, providing both quantitative and qualitative data on student performance, making our tests ideal for understanding students’ current strengths and weaknesses, informing teaching and learning, and monitoring progress over time.

ACER progressive achievement model

The issue of quality, due to the diverse scenarios, presents new challenges in the Indian education system. NCF states the intent of quality as – education available to all children in different regions and sections of society has a comparable quality. The move towards school-based assessment was made to support diagnosis, remediation and enhancing of learning, however schools and teachers are questioning and are puzzled about not only the ‘how’ of assessing student learning but the fundamental question of ‘why’ we assess students’ learning.

The approaches we take to assessing and reporting learning send powerful signals to students, parents and the community. Psychologist Carol Dweck has highlighted the importance of promoting a ‘growth mindset’ through our assessment processes:

When [teachers and students] change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth takes plenty of time, effort and mutual support.
(Dweck, 2006, 244)

An assessment approach that focuses on assessing and monitoring student growth over time is underpinned by an understanding that students of the same age and in the same year of school can be at very different points in their learning and development, and that all students are capable of progress given the right learning opportunities. This approach stands in contrast to the ‘lockstep’ assumption that all students in the same year of school are at the same point in their learning and draws on research showing that, typically, the most advanced students in any school year are five to six years ahead of the least advanced.

Under a growth mindset, high expectations are held for every student’s learning progress, regardless of their starting point.