Professor Gavin T L Brown

PhD, MEd (Hons 1st class) Massey University, BEd (TESL)(Dist'n) Concordia University


Prof Brown is the Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. He is an Affiliated Professor, in Applied Educational Sciences, at Umea University, Sweden and an Honorary Professor, in Curriculum & Instruction, at the Education University of Hong Kong. Dr Brown has been in academic positions since 2005 at the University of Auckland and the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Prior to that he was a standardised test developer for NZCER and Auckland UniServices; he was the Senior Project Manager for the Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (asTTle) project. After completing teacher training in Montreal Canada, Gavin worked in NZ for 13 years as a tutor of ESOL and as a high school teacher of English and ESOL. 

Research | Current

I am involved in the current externally funded research projects:

  • 2017-2020. External Expert. Perspektivtagande hos framtida poliser: effekter av utbildning och praktik [Perspective taking ability in future police officers: Effects of training and professional practice]. Swedish Research Council (grant # 2016-04842). Principal Investigators: Dr Christina Wikstrom, Dr Tova Stenlund, & Dr Miguel Inzunza (Umeå University, Sweden).
  • 2017-. External collaborator. Education, Regulated Learning, and Assessment (ERLA) research group, Departamento Interfacultativo de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autonomá de Madrid, Spain. PI=Dr Ernesto Panadero.
  • 2015-2016. Co-Investigator, Student self-assessment: Calibration, predictors, and effects. With Principal Investigator Dr. Yan Zi, Education University of Hong Kong. Funded by the General Research Fund, Research Grants Council, Hong Kong.
  • 2016-2019. Faculty Representative, Enhancing future employability through tertiary education, AKO National Project Fund. With Susan Geertshuis (PI), Rob Wass (Otago), Tim Watts (NZAGE), Barbara Kensington-Miller & Sean Sturm (UoA) 
  • 2017-2018. External Advisor. Innovative use of Learning Analytics in the implementation of new national guidelines for program accreditation and re-accreditation in the School of Education. With Cassandra Colvin (TIU), Graham Hardy (EDS), Sven Trenholm (EDS), Carmel Taddeo (EDS), Jiuyong Li (ITMS), University of South Australia, Adelaide.
  • 2016-2017. Member, Management Group, Mid-childhood outcomes of children born at risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia, Children with Hypoglycaemia and their Later Development CHYLD Project, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. Grant application to Health Research Council. PI=Prof Jane Harding.
  • 2015-2016. External Consultant. Assessment for Learning in Singapore Secondary Schools. Curriculum, Teaching, & Learning Dept., National Institute of Education, Singapore. PI=Dr Chris Deneen. 

Teaching | Current

  • Assessment, testing, measurement
  1. EDUC 224 Assessment and Evaluation in Education
  2. EDUC 225 Curriculum, Assessment and Evaluation
  3. EDPROFST 786 Special Topic: Understanding and Using Assessment Data
  • Research methods and evaluation
  1. EDUC 380 Methods of Research in Education
  2. EDUC 314 Special Topic: Applied Education and Psychology
    Research Methods
  3. Educ 706AB Measurement & Advanced Statistics
  • Social psychology especially around assessment
  1. EDUC 121(G) How People Learn

Postgraduate supervision

My research topics focus around the following four big ideas. I am actively prioritising research students in these areas. Students should be willing and able to learn how to use statistical methods with large-scale data.

  1. The teaching and learning of advanced quantitative methods
  2. Evaluation and measurement of undergraduate attributes
  3. Assessment ( and data analysis methods ((, especially in higher education, making use of psychometric theory.
  4. Beliefs and attitudes toward assessment and the impact of those on behaviour and performance focusing on teachers ( or students (

I am currently supervising 15 doctoral candidates and am an external advisor or supervisor to 5 doctoral candidates at international universities.  

I have contributed to 12 completed doctoral dissertations, 10 master's theses, and 12 honor's projects at UoA, Universidad Federale de Minas Gerais, Universidad Federale de Ouro Preto, and the Education University of Hong Kong. 


2016. Sentinel of Science Award (#34 in Social Sciences), [Awards for Top 10% of Peer Reviews]

2015. 2014 Distinguished Paper Award, Classroom Assessment SIG, American Educational Research Association

2015. Faculty Research Excellence Award, Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Auckland

2014. Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award for Postgraduate Research Supervision, The University of Auckland

2008. Early Career Research Excellence Award, The University of Auckland

2004. BearingPoint Innovation Awards to Project asTTle, University of Auckland

  • Highly Commended for Public Service  
  • Highly Commended for Innovation in Technology

2003. Computerworld Excellence Award for Use of IT in Education to Project asTTle, University of Auckland.


Current at University of Auckland

Director, Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit (Quant-DARE), The University of Auckland, November 2013 onwards. 

Member, LDPP School Postgraduate Committee, The University of Auckland, July 2013 onwards.

Member, University Wide Doctoral Examination Chairs Pool, The University of Auckland, January 2013 onwards.

Member, School Leadership Group, School of Learning, Development, & Professional Practice, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland, Feb 2012 onwards.

Areas of expertise

  • Educational testing & assessment
  • Psychometrics & measurement
  • Social psychology of assessment
  • Attitudes, values, & beliefs
  • Structural equation modeling

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Current Editorial Roles:

  • Chief Section Editor, Frontiers in Education: Assessment, Testing, & Applied Measurement, 2016-to date
  • Member, International Editorial Board, Cogent Education OA
  • Member, Editorial Board, Educational Assessment, 2014-to date
  • Member, Editorial Board, Assessment in Education, 2013 - to date
  • Member, College of Reviewers, Higher Education Research & Development, 2013- to date
  • Member, Editorial Board, Teaching and Teacher Education, 2012 - to date
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Society, Culture, & Language, 2012 - to date
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, set: Research Information for Teachers, 2006 - to date
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Quantitative Psychology and Measurement, 2010 - to date
  • Member, International Review Panel, Journal of Education for Teaching, 2011 - to date

Current Professional Memberships & Affiliations:

  • Member, American Educational Research Association (AERA), since 2001
  • Member, National Council for Measurement in Education (NCME), since 2001 
  • Member, International Test Commission (ITC), since 2002
  • Member, European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI), since 2006
  • International Affiliate, American Psychological Association (APA), since 2006
  • Member, Association for Psychological Science (APS), since 2008
  • Member, International Psychometric Society, (IPS), since 2012

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Brown, G. T. L. (2017). The Future of Assessment as a Human and Social Endeavor: Addressing the Inconvenient Truth of Error. Frontiers in Education, 2.10.3389/feduc.2017.00003
  • Deneen, C. C., Brown, G. T. L., & Carless, D. (2017). Students’ conceptions of eportfolios as assessment and technology. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 1-10. 10.1080/14703297.2017.1281752
  • Brown, G. T. L. (2017). Assessment of student achievement. New York: Routledge. Pages: 120.
  • Brown, G. (2017). What we know we don’t know about teacher education. In J. Clandinin, J. Husu (Eds.) The SAGE handbook of research on teacher education (pp. ). London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications Ltd. Related URL.
  • Brown, G. T. L., Harris, L. R., O'Quin C, & Lane, K. E. (2017). Using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate cross-cultural research: identifying and understanding non-invariance. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 40 (1), 66-90. 10.1080/1743727X.2015.1070823
  • Brown, G. T. L., Peterson, E. R., & Yao, E. S. (2016). Student conceptions of feedback: Impact on self-regulation, self-efficacy, and academic achievement. BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 86 (4), 606-629. 10.1111/bjep.12126
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Elizabeth Peterson, Esther Yao
  • Panadero, E., Brown, G. T. L., & Strijbos, J.-W. (2016). The Future of Student Self-Assessment: a Review of Known Unknowns and Potential Directions. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 28 (4), 803-830. 10.1007/s10648-015-9350-2
  • Yan, Z., & Brown, G. T. L. (2016). A cyclical self-assessment process: towards a model of how students engage in self-assessment. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 1-16. 10.1080/02602938.2016.1260091


Contact details

Office hours

By appointment. Please send an email to request a meeting.

Primary location

Level 4, Room 409
New Zealand

Social links

Web links