The University of Western Sydney has released "Assuring Learning and Teaching Standards through Inter-Institutional Peer Review and
Moderation: A User Guide and Handbook" and "Assuring Learning and Teaching Standards through Inter-Institutional Peer Review and Moderation" (Kerri-Lee Krause and Geoff Scott, March 2014). The results of this carefully conducted study into the quality of assessment at Australian universities does not really tell us anything new: universities assessment is of a suitable and comparable standard across the country, and this standard can be maintained by regular comparison between institutions.
The report and manual do gloss over a dirty little secret of higher education assessment: while there is general agreement on who should pass, there is little consistency as to more detailed grades. In general, different assessors (or the same assessor at different times) will give different grades to the same work. Vocational education avoids this problem by just having one grade of "competent" (and being optimistic by calling failure "no yet competent".
The handbook may be of use to those preparing assessment and evaluation policies for universities, but anyone doing that should already know the general approach from having completed a course, such as USQ's "Assessment, Evaluation and Learning " (EDU5713), as I did.
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