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Centre for Educational Measurement and Assessment

High-quality research to advance methodology
We provide academic leadership in building research capacity, scholarly inquiry, curriculum and consulting in the areas of measurement, assessment and psychometrics.

We welcome partnerships within the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, with other centres within the University, and with other institutions, external organisations or companies.

We have recently secured a partnership with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) in order to support teachers’ engagement with, and understanding of, assessment and the use of data to inform teaching and learning.

What we do

Our work focuses on:

  • developing theories and models of educational assessment to improve formative and summative assessment in different educational settings
  • evaluating how the different types of assessment influence the effectiveness of learning and learning systems
  • exploring the impacts and opportunities of new assessment technologies in test design, distribution, administration and delivery of results
  • constructing and validating measurement scales for cognitive and non-cognitive constructs
  • researching notions of validity and reliability in different educational assessment contexts
  • exploring how psychometrics is changing education and assessment and how it is impacting on lifelong learning
  • supervising postgraduate studies for local and international students in the areas of educational measurement, assessment and psychometrics.

We offer innovative Master of Education units of study delievered entirely online that provide a basic introduction to what teachers need to know and do to assess effectively and maximise learning.

Our Master of Education units have been divided into professional learning modules that have been endorsed by NESA at the Proficient stage. These are also delivered entirely online, allowing teachers to start and complete them at their own pace. Each provides between 4 and 6 hours of professional learning towards maintenance of accreditation. These are being assessed by the University for articulation to award programs.

To find out more and register for the modules, please click here.

Our consultancy services include:

  • providing consulting services to the University of Sydney in building scales to measure graduate qualities such as cultural competence, critical thinking and influence
  • providing consulting services to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority (WA) on projects related to establishing comparability across assessments of teacher effectiveness against professional standards
  • unpacking the assessment standards of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers into elaborations that need to be known and understood before they can be demonstrated
  • validating the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment
  • participating in international capacity-building workshops and conferences in China, India, Lao, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, the US and the Pacific.

NESA Scholarships

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Educational Measurement and Assessment Research Scholarships

Are you interested in undertaking PhD research in an aspect of assessment, testing or psychometrics in education contexts? Scholarships are available and include a regular placement at NESA.

Each scholarship is funded at $30,000 pa for full time domestic students.

Australian citizens, master's graduates or graduands with a substantial research component in (but not limited to) education, psychology, engineering or science, willing to undertake a regular placement with NESA at its Sydney CBD office working with the Executive Director of Assessment.

Applications close Monday, 6 April (commencement date negotiable).

Please be aware that applying for the scholarship and a PhD are separate processes and that acceptance in one does not guarantee the other. It is highly recommended that you email Professor James Tognolini to discuss potential areas of research before applying.

Educational Measurement Interest Group

This group comes together every 6-8 weeks and welcomes members of the education community who are involved in assessment, measurement and psychometric projects. Presentations in 2019 have included Growth approaches to students’ academic development: findings and practice directions from a program of educational psychology research” by Professor Andrew J Martin; and “An update on how we are going about measuring student performance on the University of Sydney’s graduate qualities” by professors Peter McCallum and Jim Tognolini.

Past events


Tine Nielsen is Associate Professor, Psychometrics and Psychological Testing in the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. During her visit she presented to the Educational Measurement Interest Group on the topic of “Student self-rating of grades on learning objectives: with students’ course evaluations and final course grades”. 


We hosted five delegates from Beijing Institute of Education for a week-long academic exchange. The visitors were keen to discuss modern assessment theory including standards referencing, performance-based assessment, constructing rubrics for cognitive and non-cognitive skills and the way these assessment concepts were implemented in Australian schools. We would like to especially thank our academic staff and outside experts who gave their time and expertise to this exchange.


Presentation and Workshops for Beijing Huiji International Education on “How to assess higher order thinking skills and core competencies in the classroom” and “Non-cognitive assessment” in the Chaoyang District, Shingshan District and Beijing Institute of Education in China.


Presentation at 2nd University of Riau International Conference on Educational Sciences, Pekanbaru, Indonesia, on “Assessing skills and measuring performance of students on skills that are aligned with the needs of the 21st century: a practical example”.

25 April

RTI International, North Carolina

Presented invitational address "Global assessments and the assessment market".

Founding director

Headshot of Professor Jim Tognolini

Senior lecturer

Business Development Manager


Kathleen Walker

Executive Assistant