Melbourne Assessment issues new qualification

In November 2023, the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Assessment research unit issued students in Years 6, 10 and 12 from nine schools across Australia with the Australian Learner Competency Credential (the Australian LCC).

Australian LCC aims to enhance learner’s ability to thrive in further education and future employment, by focusing on complex competencies like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, active citizenship, and agency in learning. It is designed to complement existing testing measures, such as school reports, NAPLAN and the ATAR.

This new qualification comes at a pressing time, with ATAR release day looming next week and continuing debate from the education sector over how well these domain-based knowledge and skills tests prepare students for the future.

Enterprise Professor Sandra Milligan, Executive Director of Melbourne Assessment, notes the new credentials will help students prepare for a rapidly changing future: “Traditional metrics of learning and schooling success report what a learner knows about a particular subject or topic, or what they can do under timed, high-stakes tests or examinations. But to thrive in a modern AI world, students need to be able to demonstrate more than that. They need to be collaborative, build and maintain connections, act ethically, be entrepreneurial, be critical thinkers and reflective. Such qualities are what this new credential is all about.”

Nine government, independent and catholic schools have issued the credentials, from across VIC, NSW, SA and WA, to 254 learners. These schools are involved in the University’s New Metrics research-practice partnership.

Principals, teachers, and students shared testimonials highlighting the benefits of the Australian LCC in their schools and the importance of this new qualification for learners to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Jonathan Walter, Principal of Carey Baptist Grammar School in Victoria, cites the importance of educational qualifications telling a more compelling story about who students are: “While academic measures like the ATAR will always be important, we also know that these measures don’t tell the whole story of an individual. An education provides children with a broad range of skills beyond the academic, and through the Australian LCC, we’re now able to measure and validate these.”

Erica Hurley, Principal of Melaleuca Park Primary in South Australia, explains the value for teachers: “the opportunity to assess competencies rather than just knowledge will allow teachers to develop their pedagogy in learning design to differentiate for all students. Students will be able to reflect on their growth to become self-regulated learners.”

Nicole Bugeja, a Year 12 student at Santa Sophia Catholic College in NSW, is pleased her school has supported her to develop “skills that are really fundamental for success,” and “really useful for the workplace.” Sholto Marti, a Year 12 student at Wurun Senior Campus in Victoria, has already guaranteed an offer to the ANU for a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science through their early offer system, which looked at his capabilities in Year 11 and 12. This type of entry to further study is enhanced by their engagement in new assessments.

More schools are expected to take up the opportunity to credential their students next year.

This blog was originally published by the University of Melbourne.

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