Australia’s national education evidence body

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A rubric to help you evaluate the effectiveness of a new or existing policy, program or practice.

What is the Evidence rubric?

The Evidence rubric supports education practitioners and policymakers to apply AERO’s Standards of evidence to new and existing approaches for their context.

The Evidence rubric assists education practitioners and policymakers in:

  1. self-assessing how confident they can be that a certain approach is effective in their context
  2. deciding how to implement the approach given their level of confidence
  3. collecting evidence that may increase their confidence in the effectiveness of the approach.

How do I use the Evidence rubric?

The Evidence rubric can be used to analyse a particular approach in two ways: to decide whether or not to implement a certain approach in your context or to assess your confidence in the effectiveness of an existing approach. 

In either case, first identify the statement in the rubric that best describes the evidence you currently have on the particular approach you are analysing, to assess the confidence you can have in its effectiveness. Once you have identified the level of confidence, you can analyse the suggested guidance on how to proceed. This may include discontinuing the practice in favour of others in which you can have greater confidence or collecting further evidence that may increase your level of confidence. Remember to consult with those who will be affected before you begin or discontinue an approach.

How much confidence is enough?

Although high or very high confidence in practices, programs and policies is preferable, sometimes there is not enough evidence available to achieve these standards.

In such cases, education practitioners and policymakers must weigh the potential benefits and costs of implementing an approach without full confidence in its effectiveness.

For example, potential benefits could outweigh the costs when inaction may cause greater harm, or the consequences of implementing an ineffective approach are small and/or have been appropriately mitigated. In such circumstances, it may be acceptable to implement an approach that only provides low or medium confidence.

Which rubric should I use?

AERO has developed three rubrics to ensure that the Standards of evidence are appropriately contextualised to the various roles in the Australian education system. You should use the rubric that best applies to your role:

  • Evidence rubric for educators and teachers
  • Evidence rubric for school and ECEC service leaders
  • Evidence rubric for policymakers

Evidence rubric for educators and teachers

Evidence rubric for school and ECEC service leaders

Evidence rubric for policymakers

AERO has defined some common education research terms. Read our list of key concepts explained.

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