This unit deals directly with some of the most poignant issues in education of our time. You will gain the knowledge to evaluate approaches to assessment beyond standardised testing. Critically reflect on influence of low socio-economic background on student outcome, as well as the current policies around teacher quality and school improvement.

In this unit, you will cover:

  • The purposes and methods of data collection and analysis in education
  • Utilisation of data to improve teaching and learning
  • The data-driven educational environment: NAPLAN, PISA, OECD, My School
  • The on-going influence of low socioeconomic status (SES) on student outcomes and the problem of disengagement from schooling
  • Critical analysis of accountability policies and practices and alternatives to current approaches
  • Leading innovation and continuous improvement in schools.You’ll learn how to identify and use data to improve teaching and learning.

Identify which data is most relevant to your aims and how can it be used to help you effectively meet your goals. You’ll also deal with critical issues, such as the current emphasis on school, teacher and principal performance. You’ll focus on top-down accountability in schooling and develop some alternatives to this approach.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of traditional and alternative methods of data collection and analysis to improve teaching and learning, and their respective strengths and weaknesses
  • Apply knowledge of appropriate data collection and analysis to specific educational environments
  • Critically analyse current educational evaluation agenda, and the concepts of accountability and performance in educational settings, with a view to leading improvement and innovation in evaluation.


You are assessed according to the following three components, each with its own weighted value against your overall result:

  • Discussion board: 5%
  • Case study: 45%
  • Essay: 50%.


You can study this unit as part of the Master of Education.


Please note, unit structure and content are subject to change. Contact your SCU Online student advisor on 1300 589 882 for more information based on your particular circumstances.