Australian Council for Educational Research

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is an independent, not-for-profit research organisation. Its mission is to create and promote research-based knowledge, products and services that can be used to improve learning.

ACER undertakes commissioned research and development and generates and distributes a wide range of products and services. Any surplus generated through the work is invested in further research and development.

The Pacific Community (SPC) enjoys a long-standing partnership with ACER.  Our Educational Quality and Assessment Programme and ACER are working to collect evidence of education quality for governments, schools, communities and students in the Pacific region. A key part of that effort is the implementation of the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA).

The collaborative approach between our organisations is enabling not only ongoing educational monitoring, but also capacity building in the Pacific.

ACER is providing expertise and technical assistance in data analysis and reporting, and advice and guidance on project implementation in terms of the development, administration, analysis and reporting of PILNA. ACER is also supporting the development of capabilities and capacity within EQAP through the ongoing delivery of capacity support in the region.

The collaborative work on PILNA is enabling staff from ACER and EQAP to work closely on such aspects as:

  • data collection through literacy and numeracy assessments, and student, teacher and principal questionnaires
  • scoring and coding
  • reporting on the basis of a single uniform metric that can be applied across the region, and
  • development of a proficiency scale mapping item-to-skill according to degree of difficulty.

Capacity support for EQAP has so far focused on analysis of cognitive and contextual data, coding, sampling and reporting results. EQAP staff have also worked at ACER Melbourne to finalise a design for a long-term implementation of PILNA.