Time-frames for the CSU Benchmark project

Each institution in the Higher Education sector is expected to review a course at least once in every seven years and it must include benchmarking in some form (HESF, 2015). Benchmarking includes:

  • peer review of assessment – assessing/calibrating learning outcomes through peer review
  • program review – assessing/calibrating program-level outcomes to support accreditation and curriculum review
  • benchmarking – assessing/calibration of data and process to assure and improve standards
  • professional body review – assessing/calibrating professional bodies to support professional accreditation

Review and improvement activities include regular external referencing of the success of student cohorts against comparable courses of study, including:

a. analyses of progression rates, attrition rates, completion times and rates and, where applicable, comparing different locations of delivery, and
b. the assessment methods and grading of students’ achievement of learning outcomes for selected units of study within courses of study. (HESF, 2015, Section 5.3.1,4).

It is expected that selected units from a set of courses will be benchmarked over a seven year period to satisfy requirements. CSU will need to show it has benchmarked courses in each consecutive year from 2017.

A table and information taken from the External Referencing of Standards Project (ERoS) provides some indicative information on time taken.

Hours and cost of reviews per course

Timeframes and Costs

Hours for a reciprocating review of assessmentAcademic Hourly Rate#Cost per Course review

#Based on the hourly rate for a mid-point Level C appointment at RMIT including on costs at 27%
*8.25 hours for a one-way review

The figures show that the cost to a university in academic time per course per review
is $1163 for a reciprocal review.

As noted, a number of factors affected the efficiency of the review process including
discipline. The average costs indicated above may vary significantly in disciplines
such as the studio arts, where more than one staff member in an institution may
participate in the review process, and artefacts such as creative works are the
samples of student assessment. (ERoS, 2016)