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How to Use Data in Assessment for Learning

Learn how meaningful data interpretation can lead to effective assessment design and improve student learning outcomes.

485 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    1 hour

Take an in-depth look at types of data and assessment

As an educator, you can advance your career by building a solid foundational understanding of the data that underpins student learning in school, becoming equipped to implement changes based on student performance.

In this three-week course, you’ll be introduced to the fundamentals of data in this context. You’ll examine different types of data, evaluating the purpose of data in schools, and learning how to interpret data to drive decision making and assessment design.

Explore data representation and analysis to support learning

You’ll identify the role of assessment evidence, as well as comparing data collection through traditional and technologically enhanced assessments.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to compare the value of different assessments in your own context and how they can be used to support the learning needs of your students.

Identify how data can address barriers to student progress

You’ll examine how to use learning progressions to map student progress, and how to critically approach them, avoiding a one-size-fits-all method of learning design.

You’ll analyse different assessment processes, allowing you to identify and adapt any shortcomings in your own assessment methods.

Empower your students to learn in a positive learning environment

Having examined how to gather data through assessment, you’ll finish this course exploring how this data can inform targeted learning design within instructional cycles.

Bringing your learning together, you’ll be able to explain the importance of effective assessment and data collection. Using the skills gained throughout this course, you’ll be able to make data driven decisions that promote both a positive learning environment and value in assessment for both you and your students.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to assessment and data

    • Understanding data and assessment

      Get to know the fundamentals of data and assessment and why they are so important in a school setting.

    • Assessment and learning progressions

      This activity explores the link between assessment and learning progressions.

  • Week 2

    Using evidence to support learning

    • Types of evidence and their uses

      We begin this week by reflecting upon the types of evidence educators need to consider when planning for teaching and learning.

    • Collecting data through traditional assessment

      Explore the different ways you as an educator can collect data through assessment exercises.

    • Technology Enhanced Assessment

      Explore how modern technology is changing the way we conduct assessments and collect data.

  • Week 3

    Creating better assessment and outcomes

    • Evidence that informs teaching and learning

      We take a closer look at the type of evidence you can use to inform teaching and learning.

    • How to create appropriate assessment

      Creating appropriate assessment requires an in-depth understanding of your students' needs, ideals and challenges.

    • Empowering your students to learn

      In this section we look at how positive learning environments and a shared understanding of student progression contribute to better students outcomes.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify different types of data and assessment and their use in a school setting
  • Interpret and understand different representations of data in reports
  • Evaluate and discern the purpose of different types of data and assessment

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers, principals and education professionals who want to understand and be better able to use data gathered from student assessment, to professionals with a background in education and teaching.

Who will you learn with?

I am an experienced teacher educator, working at the Australian Council for Educational Research. My areas of research include including inclusion, assessment, learning and teaching and TESOL.

Director of the Centre for School and System Improvement at ACER and an esteemed education scholar with particular interest in professional learning, education policy and literacy.

Who developed the course?

ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research)


Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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