Dimension: evaluating impact on learning

This dimension is part of the Excellence in Teaching and Learning priority.


  • Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering, analysing and reflecting on evidence to make informed and consistent judgements to improve future learning. Effective teachers use student assessment results to evaluate the impact of their teaching on student learning, and then adapt their practices to better meet the needs of all students.
  • Assessment 'of' learning usually happens at the end of a cycle of learning for summative purposes. Assessment 'for' learning refers to integrating assessment information into the teaching and learning process. Assessment 'as' learning has a stronger emphasis on students becoming independent learners. Assessment 'as' and 'for' learning are often referred to as formative assessment.
  • Effective teachers see formative assessment as an integral part of teaching and learning, for both themselves and their students. Using data and feedback, teachers identify important issues which drive inquiry and actions. They monitor the impact of their actions and adjust their practice accordingly.
  • School leaders share a strong message about the impact of teaching on student learning outcomes and they support and challenge teachers to understand their effectiveness. They ensure that ongoing evaluation of teachers' current practice is used to focus their professional learning and Performance and Development Plans.

Essential Elements

A number of elements are essential to enable effective work within the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes. Eight Essential Elements form the foundation upon which improvement is built. The Essential Elements for Evaluating impact on learning are:

Essential Element 6: Moderation of common student assessment tasks.

Essential Element 7: Data collection, analysis and evaluation of student learning growth over time.

The Essential Elements are evident at the Evolving stage of each Continuum (below) and are further articulated in the Embedding and Excelling stages in some dimensions.


The Continuum for Evaluating impact on learning describes a range of proficiency levels (Emerging, Evolving, Embedding and Excelling) that assists principals and teachers to identify areas of practice that require attention in order to deliver improved student outcomes.

Component: The school builds assessment literacy


Student work is formally assessed by teachers at the end of a cycle of learning where it sums up student achievement at a particular point in time against goals and standards. Teachers collaborate to create and share assessment tasks mapped to the standards. Teachers provide students with feedback on strengths and areas for improvement to progress learning.


Teachers use a range of formative and summative assessments to monitor student learning, identify point of need and comply with curriculum standards. Teaching teams establish processes such as using assessment maps, moderation and protocols to enable greater consistency of their judgements on student learning. Teachers provide students with targeted feedback based on informed and timely judgements of each student’s achievement relative to their learning goals and their needs, in order to progress learning.


Teachers collaborate to design high-quality summative and formative assessments. Teaching and learning is routinely adjusted to cater for individual needs. The school prioritises assessment literacy and teachers have dedicated time to collaboratively build their capabilities. Teacher judgements are consistent across the school and validated by formal processes such as peer observations, moderation and cross marking. Teachers and students feedback to each other about student progress. Teachers use formative and summative assessment strategies, identify, articulate and explicitly teach the skills required for each student to improve.


All teachers demonstrate a deep understanding of the uses and purposes of assessment which informs planning for student learning. Consistency of teacher judgement is validated by rigorous data analysis by skilled teacher teams using rigorous methodology. Annotation of student work samples supports moderation and ensures assessment is accurate and supportive of learning growth. A range of comprehensive formative and summative assessment data provides the basis of regular feedback and reporting to students and parents who are engaged as partners in improving student outcomes. The school documents the processes which enable students to feedback to teachers and parents on their learning progress and next steps for improvement.

Component: The school connects student assessment with learning


The school encourages teaching teams to work together to identify and use different assessment strategies appropriate to learning.


Teachers work in teams to analyse assessment data and monitor students’ learning as part of regular lesson planning and review. They identify implications for future lesson planning including curriculum content and pedagogical approaches.


Documented whole-school assessment strategies develop teachers’ capabilities to use a range of assessment data to diagnose learning needs and inform planning for student learning.


Analysis of student assessment is used explicitly by teacher teams to inform curriculum development and teaching practice. There is a reflective cycle of planning, teaching and assessment using evidence-based strategies.

Component: Teachers evaluate and modify their teaching practice


Teachers analyse student assessment data to identify the knowledge and skills students need to meet the expected standards. Teachers identify appropriate focus areas for their own professional learning and look for opportunities to build new knowledge and skills including peer observation, feedback and coaching.


Teachers work in teams to analyse student learning data and reflect on the effectiveness of their own teaching. Teachers identify appropriate professional learning to build their knowledge and skills including research, evidence-based strategies, observation, and feedback and coaching.


Teacher teams respond to the student data analysis by adapting their pedagogical practice and refining assessment and curriculum delivery. Team planning and professional learning time prioritises assessment data analysis. Teachers evaluate the effectiveness of their practice, trial new practices, monitor student learning and seek feedback from colleagues and students to gauge the impact of changed practices.


A whole-school approach to developing evaluative practice prioritises time and resources for teams to scrutinise their impact on students’ progress. Teachers are skilled in monitoring the impact of their practice and are able to take control of their own learning. The school uses student learning data for strategic planning of teacher individual and collective professional development.

Printable resource

Continuum as an A3 print out (pdf - 222.04kb)

Case studies

To see examples of how schools in Victoria are implementing the FISO dimension Evaluating impact on learning  see: Evaluating impact on learning case studies

Evidence base

To view the Evidence Base for the FISO dimension: Evaluating impact on learning see: Evidence- Evaluating impact on learning (docx - 643.5kb)


Why should my school engage with this dimension?

Research shows that the use of formative assessment, combined with feedback, can have a powerful effect on learning. Teachers use formative assessment, or assessment for learning, to adapt their teaching to meet student needs. When feedback on student performance is provided relative to learning goals it is a powerful strategy which enhances learning. It is important that teachers use these strategies as a way to improve learning, but also consider how they can be used in combination with each other.

To what extent is this dimension already being implemented in my school?

Consider whether formative assessment practices and feedback are integral to your teaching and learning program.

What can my school focus on?
  • Focused approaches to evidence-based formative assessment rooted within specific learning areas
  • Feedback that addresses misconceptions and is related to the task not the person
  • Allocation of time and resources for teaching teams to plan, evaluate and reflect together.
What does successful implementation look like?
  • Curriculum planning and documentation includes summative and formative assessment
  • Peer observation is used as a model for providing effective feedback
  • Teacher teams develop, plan and moderate student work using student achievement data
  • A program of needs-based professional learning is incorporated.
What strategies and actions can my school implement?
  • Access professional reading to develop a deeper understanding of formative assessment and feedback and the impact on learning
  • Teachers collaborate in teams to construct formative assessment tasks in their domain areas
  • Teachers work in their teams to analyse student data and evaluate the impact
  • Teacher teams regularly review curriculum documentation.

More information

For more information, see: Excellence in Teaching and Learning priority