The Achievement Matters project aim was to develop and implement a national standard model of expert, independent peer review for assessing graduate outcomes.
Accounting learning standards were defined in the 2010 Learning and Teaching Academic Standards project, following exhaustive consultation and collaboration across the sector. Over two thousand participants from across the country were involved, including professional accounting bodies, academics and employers. According to these stakeholders, quality Bachelor and Master accounting programs should demonstrate graduates’ capabilities in accounting, judgement, knowledge, application, communication, teamwork, and self-management exceed minimum standards.
Written communication skills was the first standard focused on in the program due to generally negative comments from key stakeholders about the ability of some graduates in this area. Professional participation, including several CAANZ members, greatly assisted in ensuring that standards reflect employer expectations. Nine workshops were conducted in Darwin, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Hobart.A primary aim of Achievement Matters was ensuring collaboration with accounting academics, employers, and professional bodies to develop a shared understanding of the standards that students must attain prior to graduating with an accounting degree. The willing cooperation of these industry stakeholders, along with academics from the seventeen participating universities was vital to the success of the project. Some of the challenges faced included:
- Agreeing on what constitutes a ‘valid assessment task’ that enables students to demonstrate each learning standard.
- Developing assessment tasks that are concise and reflect learning standards.
- Agreeing on an appropriate standard of student work for specific learning standards.
- Finding appropriate meeting times and locations for our large groups of reviewers to discuss and reach consensus on project matters.
- Ensuring local context is considered in learning standards.
- Communicating the agreed standards and expectations beyond those participating in the project alone.
Benefits to Institutions
Video 1: Why learning standards matter?
Video 2: What’s involved in participating in Achievement Matters and what’s the impact?’
Video 3: Why and how does calibration work? Why are additional reviewers used with live data?