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On demand

Cultivating Agency in Learning

Elevate your school’s assessment practices beyond standard procedures through assessing and developing learner agency. 
High School students working together at table
Next intake
On demand
4-5 months
East Melbourne
+ 1 more
Assistant principal
+ 4 more
Fully Subsidised
On demand
Cultivating Agency in Learning
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    Amplify the agency of your learners using transformative assessment practices.

    Elevate your school’s assessment practices beyond standard procedures through assessing and developing learner agency. You will be provided with cutting-edge assessment thinking and tools adopted in many schools around Australia, which enable competency certificates in agency in learning to be issued to your students.

    The course will support you to unlock your students’ full potential by transforming assessment in your school to support deeper learning and personal growth by students. 

    Webinar Orientation 

    In this collaborative 2-hour session, led by thought leader Professor Sandra Milligan, you will learn why we need to foster agency in learning, and the impact of next-generation assessment practices. Gain access to resources and tools from the University of Melbourne that unpack the link between learning ambitions for students, assessment design and learning design. Self-assess your position as a transformational assessment leader in your school and begin to pinpoint your sphere of influence for this course: where you can have the most impact on students' agency in learning.  


    Designed for Victorian Government school teams of approximately 3 to 5 participants including principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders and teachers. Teams can also come from a professional learning community, network or Community of Practice.


    Designed and delivered by the University of Melbourne. 

    Throughout the program you will also engage with education thought leaders, including: 

    • Professor Sandra Milligan 
      Sandra is the Executive Director and Enterprise Professor of Melbourne Assessment at the University of Melbourne. Originally a science and mathematics teacher, she was also a Director of Curriculum in a state education department and has held senior research, management and governance positions in a range of educational organisations. Sandra’s research focuses on assessment, measurement, recognition and certification of learning in digital learning environments
    • Narelle English
      Narelle is a Research Fellow, Lecturer in Assessment and doctoral candidate at Melbourne Assessment. Her research projects relate to developmental learning and the design, development and validation of assessments of complex competencies. Narelle has also taught and held leadership positions in department schools in Victoria, and overseas in the US and Japan. 
    • Dr Ellen Heyting 
      Ellen is a teacher educator, educational researcher and facilitator at Melbourne Assessment. Her research relates to the International Baccalaureate (IB), assessing complex competencies, co-teaching and out-of-field teaching. She has taught in K-12 IB World Schools in Melbourne, Beijing, Singapore and Helsinki. Ellen’s PhD focused on using psychological belonging as a tool to increase the academic success of students from non-elite backgrounds who are attending elite educational institutions. 
    • Angela Pollock 
      Angela leads the Faculty of Education’s flagship research collaborations with Australian primary and secondary schools, including the New Metrics for Success research-practice partnership and the Melbourne Assessment community. She focuses on the assessment and credentialing of complex competencies, powering schools to assess and report on traditionally difficult-to-assess areas of learning. Angela holds a Master of School Leadership and is passionate about the impact effective collaborations can have on in-school practice, enabling young people to thrive today and in the future. 
    • Dr Jason Pietzner 
      Jason is a Lecturer in Melbourne Assessment. His PhD examined the development of critical thinking in secondary students. Jason’s research and teaching interests are in philosophy of education, critical and philosophical thinking, and competency-based education. Jason has worked in primary and secondary schools for 18 years and has held a range of teaching and leadership roles during this time. 
    • Jillian Brown 
      Jillian brings over 18 years' experience in the design, delivery, and implementation of professional learning at a school and system level, including a focus on curriculum and assessment, using frameworks, building capabilities, and Information and Communication Technology planning. An experienced educator in secondary, primary and early years settings, Jillian’s past practice includes leading a literacy intervention program. Jillian's approach is personal and collaborative, drawing on an evidence-based  range of theories and practices. 


    Over 2 terms, you will engage in and contribute to:

    • an 1-2 hour orientation webinar online (attendance recommended)
    • face-to-face workshops (3 full days and a one-day symposium)
    • Assessment of a student(s) in the form of post-workshop activities (approx. one hour per student over two terms)
    • online triad group meetings (3 one-hour sessions)
    • an applied learning project to be done with your school team and presented at the symposium (approx. 3 hours per participant).

    To successfully complete this program, team attendance at each workshop is required in addition to team presentations at the symposium.

    Learning outcomes

    During this course, you will develop knowledge and capabilities to:

    • understand the relationship between learner agency and improved student outcomes to measure your progress
    • use transformative assessment practice that integrate learner agency 
    • evaluate your school’s capacity to transform assessment practices.

    Fees and financial support

    Fully subsidised by the Department of Education for Victorian government school participants.

    See Fees and financial support for more information.

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