This paper aims to test the need in the Australian higher education (HE) sector for a national network for the peer review of assessment in response to the proposed HE standards framework and propose a sector-wide framework for calibrating and assuring achievement standards, both within and across disciplines, through the establishment of a peer review of assessment network (PRAN).
This study used a “proof of concept”approach to test the need for a national network, using consultations (n = 67) which included teleconference meetings , face-to-face meetings , Skype , presentations , state-based workshops  and a national forum. Quantitative data from evaluation surveys from state-based workshops and national forum were computer-analysed to generate descriptive statistics. Qualitative data arising from open-ended questionnaire responses were analysed through progressive categorisation and data coding designed to identify and refine data themes.
In all, 63 per cent of participants to the state-based workshops were satisfied with the workshop content. A further 29 per cent reported a high level of satisfaction. The interactive group discussions fostered a collaborative approach and facilitated engagement with the workshop content. A total of 58 per cent of participants to the national forum were satisfied with the forum, with a further 40 per cent reporting a high level of satisfaction. Participants indicated that presentation content was informative and covered a diverse range of topics and viewpoints highly relevant to the current clime across the HE sector.
Many participants strongly supported the establishment of a national PRAN, with overwhelming support (88 per cent) for the forum to be made an annual event.
This study contributes to existing literature and provides further evidence for the value of networks in the peer review of assessment to support academics in professional learning and calibration exercises.
The authors would like to acknowledge the Office for Learning and Teaching for providing funding to support this research study and the Peer Review Network Team including Prof Ron Oliver, Mark Thompson, Assoc. Prof Mark Freeman, Assoc. Prof Heather Alexander, Prof Jane Fernandez and Royson Valore for their valuable contributions to the project.
Booth, S., Beckett, J. and Saunders, C. (2016), "Peer review of assessment network: supporting comparability of standards", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 194-210. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-01-2015-0003Download as .RIS
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