Who are ACARA’S Measurement Advisory Group?


Ray Adams, Honorary Senior Fellow – MAG Chair, the University of Melbourne

Dr Ray Adams specialises in psychometrics, educational statistics, large-scale testing and international comparative studies. He is Honorary Senior Fellow at the Assessment Research Centre of the University of Melbourne and Head of the ACER Centre for Global Education Monitoring. Dr Adams was the international project director for, and led the design of, the OECD Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) from its inception until 2014.

Dr Ray Adams’s personal research program is on the extension of fundamental measurement models (Rasch item response models) to deal with performance assessments and on the application of item response methods to international surveys of educational outcomes. Methods developed by Dr Adams have been used in PISA and Third International Mathematics and Science study (TIMSS), he has also developed psychometric approaches to the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills. 

Dr Adams was a member of the international TIMSS technical advisory committee with the responsibility for developing the test design and all test analysis procedures. He is a past chair of the Technical Advisory Group for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), and he is currently Chair of the Measurement Advisory Group, which provides technical guidance to NAPLAN.

Barry McGaw, Emeritus Professor, the University of Melbourne

Prof. Barry McGaw is the Interim Director of the Assessment Research Centre, Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Emeritus Professor of Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

Earlier, Prof. McGaw worked as a director for education at the OECD in Paris, an executive director of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and professor of education at Murdoch University. Prof. McGaw was also the foundation chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

David Andrich, Professor of Education, the University of Western Australia

Prof. David Andrich BSc, BEd (Hons.), MEd (UWA), PhD (Chic) FASSA, graduated in Mathematics and Education before being appointed to the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Australia in 1968. He received a Fulbright Award for PhD study in the Measurement, Evaluation and Statistical Analysis Program at the University of Chicago where his dissertation earned the Susan Colver Rosenberger prize for the best research thesis in the Division of the Social Sciences in 1973.

Since 1985, Prof. Andrich has continuously held major research grants from the Australian Research Council. He was a panel member, Australian Research Council, in 1998–2000. In 1990, he was elected fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia for his contributions to measurement in the social sciences. He is especially known for his work in modern test theory, and in particular, Rasch measurement theory, where his work has ranged from the philosophy of measurement, through model exposition and interpretation, to software development.

Patrick Griffin, Emeritus Professor, the University of Melbourne

Prof. Patrick Griffin held the position of the chair of education (assessment) and directed the Assessment Research Centre for more than 25 years. He was the associate dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. He is one of six Australian fellows of the International Academy of Education.

Prof. Griffin was a psychometric project team leader for UNESCO in Southern Africa, and in 2005 was awarded a UNESCO research medal by the Assembly of Ministers of Education from Southern African nations. He developed a system of teacher assessment signed into law by the Vietnam government and applied to more than 380,000 teachers. He has led the development of leadership frameworks for the Australia Institute of Teaching and School Leadership. His work continues to focus on item response modelling applications to performance assessment with a formative focus.

Prof. Patrick Griffin was the executive director of the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills Project and the lead editor of the ATC21S series. In 2014 his work in linking assessment to teaching was published as ‘Assessment for Teaching’ by Cambridge University Press.

Shelley Gillis, Associate Professor, the University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Shelley Gillis is a leading researcher in vocational assessment at the University of Melbourne. She advises national and international agencies on competency-based assessment processes and systems. Her expertise include:

  • assessment and evaluation, competency/performance assessment
  • benchmarks / quality assurance
  • qualification frameworks
  • teacher education: vocational education and training, standards.

G. Gage Kingsbury, independent consultant and retired senior research fellow, NWEA, Psychometric Consulting

Dr G. Gage Kingsbury received his PhD in psychology from the University of Minnesota. He is a private consultant working with agencies that are implementing computer-based testing in education and the professions.

Dr Kingsbury is a retired senior research fellow for the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). He was one of the authors of the ACE and ATP guidelines for computer-based testing. He also serves as a technical advisor to the national nursing licensure test.

Dr G. Gage Kingsbury is President of the International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing (IACAT). Research interests include: adaptive testing, item response theory and computer-based testing.

Derek Briggs, Professor and Program Chair, the University of Colorado Boulder

Prof. Derek Briggs is Chair of the Research and Evaluation Methodology program. He is also Director of the Center for Assessment Design Research and Evaluation (CADRE). Dr Briggs’s research agenda focuses upon building sound methodological approaches for the measurement and evaluation of growth in student learning. 

Dr Briggs has a special interest in the use of learning progressions as a method for facilitating student-level inferences about growth and helping to bridge the use of test scores for formative and summative purposes. Other interests include the use and analysis of statistical models to support causal inferences about the effects of educational interventions on student achievement.

Dr Derek Briggs teaches graduate level courses on quantitative research methodology with a focus on psychometrics. His investigations into the relationship between developmental (that is, vertical) score scales and inferences about student growth and teacher/school value-added were recognised with an award by the National Council for Measurement in Education and Provost’s Achievement Award at the University of Colorado. He is widely recognised for his evaluations of the effects of test preparation on college admissions exam performance.

Dr Briggs is a past editor of the journal Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, and current member of the board of directors for the National Council for Measurement in Education. He is also a member of the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness and the Psychometric Society.