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Assessment Benchmarking Project: Final Report

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-22, 23:47 authored by Booth, S, Sainsbury, H, Woodley, L, Melano, A, Dumpleton, D

The universities of Tasmania (UTAS), Deakin and Wollongong (UOW) agreed to undertake a benchmarking project on assessment in 2010. The project aims were:

  1. To compare processes within faculties/schools, across each university and across the three universities;
  2. To identify good practice and areas where improvements can be made for the benefit of students and staff at each university;
  3. To develop and share knowledge and experience between the institutions about the process of benchmarking, in preparation for the second AUQA audit cycle and TEQSA.

The project takes, as its main reference point, the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Teaching Quality Indicators Project (TQIP) (Davies, 2008). Three of the four TQIP statements were adapted as performance indicators for this project, as follows:

  1. Assessment purposes, processes and expected standards of performance are clearly communicated and supported by timely advice and feedback to students;
  2. Assessment practices and processes are fair, reliable and valid and produce marks and grades that represent the standards achieved by students;
  3. Assessment policies and procedures are developed, implemented, reviewed and improved in accord with quality principles.


The project evaluated those assessment quality processes and practices which apply to communication; transparency and impartiality; marks and grades; and planning and governance, in relation to:

  1. − All undergraduate programs, including embedded Honours programs;
  2. − All faculties of each university;
  3. − All teaching sites of each university (including offshore sites);
  4. − Summative assessment;
  5. − Relevant aspects of academic integrity;
  6. − The role and structures of Academic Board/Senate, as appropriate under relevant indicators.

The project did not include postgraduate or research-based Honours programs; an explicit focus on the design of assessment tasks (although this was discussed as necessary); discipline procedures in cases of academic misconduct; the design of curriculum resources; or the broader academic governance roles of Academic Boards/Senates. The project focus was the 2009 calendar year; however, UTAS provided evidence mainly based on 2010 assessment initiatives.





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