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Charles Darr

Job Title: 
Manager of Assessment Design & Reporting / Senior Researcher

As Manager of Assessment Design & Reporting (AD&R), Charles leads projects that inform best practice in assessment, and has extensive experience in assessment design and development. The AD&R team is responsible for overseeing NZCER’s work in designing, developing and maintaining assessment and survey tools, including tools designed for on-line administration, reporting and analysis.

Charles is currently working in a conceptual leadership role as part of NZCER’s contribution to the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement – Wānangatia Te Putanga Tauria. This sample-based project involves the ongoing monitoring of achievement for students in Year 4 and Year 8 across the breadth of the New Zealand curriculum in English-medium schools. Charles is responsible for the conceptualisation and technical design of NMSSA’s assessment instruments and approaches. 

In January 2018, Charles was appointed as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on the review of NCEA.

Charles presents and writes on assessment issues. He is regularly called on by government and private agencies to provide advice and guidance on assessment design.

Charles has worked at NZCER since 2003. Before that, he spent ten years as a teacher, working mainly in intermediate schools.

Qualifications: B.Sc., Dip.Tchng, M.Ed. (Dist)

Charles's research interests include:

  • mathematics education
  • test development
  • assessment issues
  • new technologies on reporting and diagnostic functions of testing.

Research outputs

Year published Title Publication type Category
2014 Computer-administered vs paper-and-pencil tests: Is there a difference? Journal article Assessment tools Curriculum and assessment
2013 Checking the STAR norms Journal article Assessment tools
2013 English-language learners and validity Journal article Assessment tools PAT
2012 Errors in test results: The “quick guide” part 2 Journal article Assessment tools Curriculum and assessment
2011 Can test results help us make Overall Teacher Judgements? Journal article Assessment tools
2011 Errors in test results: The "quick guide" part 1 Journal article Curriculum and assessment
2010 Going beyond achievement: Spreading our assessment net wider Journal article Assessment tools Curriculum and assessment Student engagement
2009 Assessment development at NZCER in 2009 Journal article Assessment tools
2009 Commentary: Towards defining, assessing and reporting against national standards for literacy and numeracy in New Zealand Journal article Literacy Maths education National Standards
2009 Hitting the roof: Understanding ceiling effects Journal article Assessment tools
2008 Jumping to conclusions: Making too much of one response Journal article Assessment tools Curriculum and assessment
2008 Standardised testing: Dilemmas and possibilities Conference paper
2008 The role of an online repository of assessment tasks and resources: The place of the Assessment Resource Banks Conference paper
2007 Getting our heads around percentiles Journal article Assessment tools Curriculum and assessment
2007 Too much testing? Finding the signal amongst the noise Journal article Curriculum and assessment
2006 Frequently asked questions about assessment Journal article Curriculum and assessment
2006 Making sense of measurement scales Journal article Curriculum and assessment
2006 Zooming in on learning in the digital age (ZILDA): Report 1: Zooming in on 'digital' age learners Research report ICT Schooling for the future Student engagement
2005 A hitchhiker's guide to reliability Journal article Curriculum and assessment
2005 A hitchhiker's guide to validity Journal article Curriculum and assessment
2005 Five questions worth asking about self-regulated learning Journal article Curriculum and assessment Student engagement
2005 Self-regulated learning in mathematics classes Journal article Maths education
2004 Dusting off the Teacher's Manuals Journal article Assessment tools PAT School governance and management
2004 Self-regulated learning in the mathematics class Conference paper
2003 asTTle: An Early Exploration of New Technology for Teachers Journal article Assessment tools ICT
2003 The Band-Aid Strip Journal article Maths education Student engagement
2003 The meaning of “equals” Journal article Maths education