Moderation and benchmarking: improving quality for students through reflection

Deb Murdoch

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract


Moderation and benchmarking promote quality assurance in the higher education sector for both institutional level and assessment and course review. Moderation ensures valid, fair and consistent marking of assessment through processes such as review by peers, external experts, or double marking. Benchmarking is the process of comparing course design, assessment, and other institutional processes to determine where an institutions' functions, practices and courses are comparable to other similar courses across the sector. The Higher Educational Standards Framework (2015) notes that the process of both internal and external monitoring, reviews, external referencing and student feedback "are used to mitigate future risks to the quality of education" and to inform practice. A discussion paper (Reid & Drengenberg, 2017) for CSU's Senate indicates the desire for a move to a quality culture rather than a compliance culture. Charles Sturt University mandates regular moderation of assessment (2016) to ensure quality in grades assigned to subjects and subsequently to ensure course learning outcomes are met and degrees awarded. This process is recorded in an online moderation system where information and reflection is returned to School Assessment Committees. This informs future practice and promotes quality. The process of moderation is a process that is echoed in benchmarking. Benchmarking, according to the HESF (2015) must include analyses of "the assessment methods and grading of students' achievement of learning outcomes for selected units of study within courses of study." (HESF, Section 5.3.4, 2015). The processes of review used at the subject level for moderation are echoed in the review of courses by a benchmarking panel. This poster shows the internal processes of moderation and their links to external benchmarking processes and the systems which can improve the recording and transfer of information to improve quality while meeting the regulatory requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (2015).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventCSUed 2017: Value teaching - CSU's distinctive learning experience - Charles Sturt University, Orange, Australia
Duration: 21 Jun 201723 Jun 2017 (Conference website)


ConferenceCSUed 2017
Abbreviated titleQuality Learning and Teaching: Transforming our teaching both on campus and online
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