‘Assuring the quality of achievement standards and their valid assessment in Australian higher education’

working group

Higher education students graduate into a volatile and rapidly changing world. This Office for Learning and Teaching Senior Fellowship aims to build the capacity of higher education institutions to ensure that the quality of their graduates keeps pace with the rapidly changing needs of the 21st century. Particular focus is being given to developing the change leadership capability of Associate Deans and Directors (Learning and Teaching) and Programme Directors and Heads. Strengthened proficiency to identify, validate and develop relevant and desirable graduate capabilities, through strategies like utilisation of multiple reference points and peer consensus, will see institutions able both to assure the fitness for purpose of assessment and its fitness of purpose.

The Senior Fellowship programme has involved some 3700 learning and teaching leaders from around the world in producing a user-developed flexible learning guide for ‘flipping’ the curriculum development, review and assessment process. It does this by starting with a consolidated set of suggestions and exemplars for program teams to use when seeking to ensure that the program level outcomes set down for their degree or diploma are demonstrably suited to developing graduates who are not only work ready for today but also work ready plus for tomorrow. The searchable web-based guide then brings together the key suggestions and successful examples from these L&T leaders on how to most productively map these agreed program level outcomes to units of study, select powerful, valid assessment for each unit of study, ensure reliable and valid grading and calibration and how to design engaging, fit-for-purpose learning methods and resources to optimise the quality of graduate performance on assessment. It also identifies key strategies for effective change management of the area.



The design and delivery of the Fellowship’s capacity-building workshops and the development of this guide has indeed been a fine team effort.

I would like to acknowledge the senior leaders in the universities and colleges within and beyond Australia who hosted the workshops held throughout the Fellowship and supported their delivery; the 3700 academic leaders who participated in the them, and so willingly shared their experience and were so generous in their feedback; along with The Office for Learning and Teaching and the Australian Government for supporting the Senior Fellowship.

Most importantly, I would like to thank the staff and leaders of Western Sydney University for their generous support of this work. My particular thanks go to Jane Box whose day-to-day support and generous assistance was invaluable and to Natalie McLaughlin, Luke McCallum and the team from Cyberdesign Works and the Western Sydney University web services team who helped develop the online guide.


Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott

Please note
The views expressed in the Fellowship, grant activities, this website and in the other materials produced do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office for Learning and Teaching or the sponsoring institutions.