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Curtin University

External Referencing of Standards

EROS Project Fact Sheet


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EROS Project Participation Form


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EROS Project Selecting Student Work


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EROS Project Referencing Forms


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EROS Project Referencing Spreadsheet


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EROS Project Process for Triads


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EROS Project Recording Staff Time


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External referencing of achievement standards is a process that examines the quality of student cohorts against comparable courses of study at other institutions, which is a critical component of course quality confidence for students, the university, industry and the general community. The external referencing process requires academics that are external to the university and familiar with the subject matter to review and provide feedback on the quality of final year assessments where graduate level course learning outcomes are demonstrated.

What is the purpose of external referencing?
Essentially, it seeks to provide evidence that final year assessments and grading standards are appropriate and broadly comparable with those assessment practices occurring in other similar courses elsewhere. External referencing also provides:

  • Affirmation that assessment design supports opportunities for students to demonstrate graduate level learning outcomes.
  • Collaborative and professional learning for staff through calibration of assessment standards, which enhances the course and assessment quality for students.
  • Provides feedback to students to improve their learning and supports future professional success.
  • Assures reliability and validity of judgement of learning outcomes across courses.
  • Complements other activities (such as internal moderation) as part of an overall quality assurance/improvement framework.

Why is it important to externally reference Curtin courses?
External referencing of courses across institutions helps to ensure the quality, comparability and consistency of Curtin courses, and provides useful feedback to course coordinators, which can be used to enhance the quality of the teaching program. The external referencing process also helps provide quality assurance against TEQSA standards and the Higher Education Standards Framework.

External referencing of achievement standards helps to ensure that:

  • Curtin students obtain credible evidence of achievement of learning outcomes and supports future professional success.
  • Curtin courses are relevant and of the highest professional standard to meet disciplinary expectations.
  • Curtin satisfies necessary requirements set by external regulators to monitor, review and improve the quality of learning and teaching standards (Section 5.3.4, Final Proposed HESF 2014).
  • Curtin meets the requirement that “the academic standards intended to be achieved by students and the standards actually achieved by students in the course of study are benchmarked against similar accredited courses of study offered by other higher education providers” (Section 5.5, HESF 2011).

What is the EROS Project?
EROS is a pilot project in which four universities have agreed to collaborate in reviewing each other’s coursework programs. The four participating universities in the EROS project are:

  • RMIT University
  • Curtin University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University of Wollongong

The purpose of the pilot project is to develop and test a comprehensive process for external referencing of courses to be implemented by each university. The process will address quality enhancement of assessment and student achievement standards, balanced with quality assurance against TEQSA standards. EROS will focus on:

  • Coursework Program and Unit Learning Outcomes
  • Assessments and Student Achievement of Standards

For more information about the EROS Pilot Project please see the EROS Project Fact Sheet.