Report 2: Generating trust and utility in senior secondary qualifications


Case studies of first movers in their warranting networks

This research report from the Assessment Research Centre (ARC) of the University of Melbourne is the second in a series commissioned by Learning Creates Australia on the topic of assessment and recognition of learning. It focuses on the emergence of new forms of credentials for post-compulsory schooling. It explores how issuers of these credentials are building trust in them and utility for stakeholders. It explores implications for assessment and qualifications used in post-compulsory schooling in Australia.

Generating Trust is a must read for every principal, school leader and policy professional in Australia.

The report draws upon six case studies of Australian and international organisations that have repositioned general capabilities at the heart of learning, to complement and deepen the domain-specific learning of more traditional disciplines and subjects. 

A key driver in most organisations has been the need to increase equity. The providers have been motivated by a belief that the new learning ambitions, and recognition of them, would improve the learning outcomes and potential post-school pathways of young people who are currently disadvantaged.

The approach First Movers adopt towards assessment and credential design and warranting of quality differs from the existing, regulated approaches of jurisdictions in Australia for senior secondary qualifications.

To develop trust in their assessments, and utility for stakeholders in the qualifications, the organisations have each developed their own warranting networks to underwrite quality. 

The networks vary in character, but all aim to certify what learners know and can do in a way that is trusted (accurate and comparable, interpretable and fair) and has utility for all concerned.

The report concludes that the current regulatory system for warranting trust and utility of senior secondary certification in Australia is not matched to the needs of providers progressing this aspiration. 

This report explores features of a suitable framework for senior secondary qualifications in Australia that would better support the emergent learning ambitions and their associated learning designs of the kind represented in these cases.

Informing our work

Through The Learner’s Journey project, Learning Creates has been prototyping new ways to recognise more of what young people know and can do – taking elements from the Assessment Research Centre’s research and exploring how the components of recognition can be further shaped and interpreted through a collaborative process. This in turn informs the broader ecosystem, based on an amalgam of research and practical work.

Learning Creates thus presents an opportunity to promote work further – into school communities, tertiary institutions and through the work of other intermediaries who interact with employers and recruiters. The broader response is one that has a potential to make an impact, particularly for young people who have experienced disadvantage.


Read the first report in the series here


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