Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith - Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education (Faculty of Education and Arts)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor


Claire Wyatt-Smith is the Director of the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at the Australian Catholic University and Professor of Educational Assessment and Literacy.

Her research addresses standards and the use of professional judgements to improve learning and the role of digital technologies in educational assessment and evaluation. She is currently leading a large scale study of reform in initial teacher education involving 14 Australian Higher Education Institutes as partners in the study spanning six states and territories. She is also undertaking major studies into the teaching of writing, large scale standardised testing and the impact of new technologies on classroom learning.

Current work includes a review of NAPLAN involving Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Other work includes research on digital learning assessment, big data and learning analytics. Outcomes from this include the UNESCO paper on digital learning assessment, big data and learning analytics

Her work has attracted funding from the Australian Research Council (Discovery and Linkage Schemes), and governments at national and state levels, as well as international educational agencies. This funding has supported her extensive publications in leading international journals and publishing houses. She is the Foundation Editor of two book series with Springer Publishing in the fields of educational assessment and teacher education: Teacher Education, Learning Innovation and Accountability (2018) and The Enabling Power of Assessment (2014). ORCID 0000-0003-1190-9909


Phone :+617 3623 7112 (Brisbane)
URIs : Staff Directory ProfilePersonal Website

Research Interests

Assessment and evaluation ; Assessment standards ; Human judgment and moderation practice ; language and literacy education ; Digital assessment ;

Methods Expertise

mixed-method research ; Longitudinal ; Survey Design ; Discourse Analysis ; Ethnography (observation & interview) ; Policy and document analysis ;

Research Projects

Completed Projects

  • Review and evaluate the current writing assessment marking rubrics in National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • Digital Learning Assessments and Big Data (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • Guiding principles for curriculum supports (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • Building an evidence base of teacher quality and classroom readiness: A focus on teaching performance assessments. (The Standards Project: Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA) Trial (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • Research Partnerships and Improvement Science: Using data to inform the teaching of writing and assessment (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • An investigation of school and teacher use of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for student learning improvement (DP110104319) (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • The intersection of discipline knowledge and standards: A focus on judgement and the expert panels (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)

Current Projects

  • NAPLAN Review - Panel Member (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • Improving teacher assessment capability using scaled annotated exemplars of achievement standards in online moderation. (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)
  • Effective Teacher-Based Assessment Adjustments for Students with Disability (DP150101679) (Funded Grant) (Chief Investigator)

Selected Publications


Fidelity of summative performance assessment in initial teacher education: The intersection of standardisation and authenticity, in Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education

Enduring factors influencing teaching choice in Australia. Implications of workforce practices on motivations perceptions, recruitment and retention, in Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education

The development of students evaluative expertise: Enabling conditions for integrating criteria into pedagogic practice, in Journal of Curriculum Studies

Digital learning assessments and big data: Implications for teacher professionalism: Education Research and Foresight Working Paper No 25, in UNESCO Education Research and Foresight


Research-informed conceptualization and design principles of teacher performance assessments: Wrestling with system and site validity, in Innovation and Accountability in Teacher Education: Setting directions for new cultures in teacher education

Innovation and accountability in teacher education: Setting directions for new cultures in teacher education, in Springer

Clinical assessment judgements and Connoisseurship: Surfacing curriculum wide standards through transdisciplinary dialogue, in The Australian Curriculum: Promises, problems and possibilities


Standards of practice to standards of evidence: developing assessment capable teachers, in Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice (print version)


NAPLAN data on writing: A picture of accelerating negative change, in Australian Journal of Language and Literacy


International trends in the implementation of assessment for learning: Implications for policy and practice, in Policy Futures in Education


Assessment understood as enabling: A time to rebalance improvement and accountability goals, in Designing Assessment for Quality Learning

Elements of better assessment for the improvement of learning: A focus on quality, professional judgment and social moderation, in Designing Assessment for Quality Learning

Assessment for education: Standards, Judgement and Moderation, in Sage

Designing assessment for quality learning, in Springer


Explicit, latent and meta-criteria: Types of criteria at play in professional judgement practice, in Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice (print version)

Reframing literacy for a screen-based age: A case for digital mindsets, in Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders

Developing engaging reading pedagogies for disadvantaged students in low SES Australian schools: Lessons Learnt from students' voices, in Refereed Proceedings of 57th World Assembly of International Council for Education on Teaching.


Enacting policy, curriculum and teacher conceptualisations of multimodal literacy and English in assessment and accountability, in English in Australia

Other information

Research supervision fields:
- Educational assessment, standards
- Assessment for learning/formative purposes
- Instructional decision-making
- Reading and writing pedagogy and assessment
- Multimodal assessment
- Assessment in higher education
- Expert knowledge in the professions and evaluative judgment