Achievement Matters updates

11 Jul 2016

July 2016 - There was lively discussion at the tenth Calibration workshop held on the Gold Coast on 6th July immediately following the AFAANZ Conference.  Thirty seven reviewers participated in the workshop including thirteen new members along with four industry participants.  The focus of the workshop was on Masters learning standards relating to Application, Knowledge and Written Communication.  It has been proposed that from 2017, AFAANZ will manage the process of administration for the workshops with support from the professional bodies.   Institutions will also be given the option to participate in external peer review of live data with three calibrated reviewers invited to review the assessment items. Member and non-member institutions will pay a fee to have their submitted work reviewed.

Gold Coast 2016

Gold Coast 2016

July 2015 - a Calibration workshop was held at the University of Tasmania following annual conference of the Accounting and Finance Association of New South Wales.  This ninth workshop focussed on Masters (Entry) learning standards relating to Self-Management, Knowledge and Written Communication. For the first time, an assessment task was considered valid to demonstrate the standard in focus (written communication) by all peer reviewers which included a number of new reviewers.  Each institution was given the option to participate in external peer review of live data either with pre-arranged reciprocal partnerships or via randomly assigned anonymous reviewers.

Hobart 2015

Hobart 2015

July 2015 – International Education Standards (IES) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) become effective. Far reaching standards (IES 2 – technical competence; IES 3 – professional skills; IES 4 – professional values; IES 6 – assessment) apply from 1 July. Several important extracts include:

IFAC member bodies shall establish appropriate assessment activities to measure the achievement of the professional skills of aspiring professional accountants. (Paragraph 9 in IES 3)

IFAC member bodies shall design assessment activities that have high levels of reliability, validity, equity, transparency, and sufficiency within professional accounting education programs. (Paragraph 9 in IES 6)

Although the assessment of professional competence during IPD is the responsibility of IFAC member bodies, other stakeholders may provide substantive input into assessment activities. (Paragraph A2 in IES 6)

Australian professional accounting bodies (CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) accreditation guidelines recognise the role Achievement Matters plays in providing evidence of achievement for accredited programs.

June 2015 – University of Tasmania becomes the 18th higher education provider to join the process.

June 2015 – Major report on study by leading UK researchers released by Higher Education Funding Council of England. In addition to recognising the strength of the Achievement Matters approach (see 9.31 on page 81 and Table 9 page 85), they recommend (page 94) “Consequently we recommend that the sector: … Accelerates the professionalisation of the external examiner built on: a requirement to calibrate external examiners’ academic standards within and organised by their disciplinary communities drawing on existing UK and international methods for calibration; more systematic training to develop further knowledge and more consistent perspectives on the role, standards, assessment literacy and professional judgement.”

May 2015 – Final project report published to website of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.  http://www.olt.gov.au/project-achievement-matters-external-peer-review-accounting-learning-standards

April 2015 – Productivity Commission report recognises the value of external assurance “given that student achievement is the ultimate goal of education, outcome-based or learning standards such as the demonstration of generic and discipline-specific learning objectives (including competency in the English language), are equally important from a quality assurance perspective. This suggests that the current emphasis on teaching standards should be rebalanced to provide for learning standards to have a greater role in quality assurance arrangements.”  http://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/international-education/international-education.pdf

April 2015 – The Independent Commission Against Corruption of New South Wales report recognises the value of external assurance and recommends higher education providers “balancing the strength of the academic standards compliance system with the business development risks. This may include appointing an independent representative from another university to sit on academic standard committees or auditing of course standards by well-regarded Australian and overseas academics”.  http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/component/docman/doc_download/4595-learning-the-hard-way-managing-corruption-risks-associated-with-international-students-at-universities-in-NSW

March 2015 – Second article published in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education called “Does Calibration reduce variability in the assessment of accounting learning outcomes?”

December 2014 – Final project report submitted to Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

November 2014 – Australian Business Deans Council agree to continuation of recommended external calibration process and external assurance for 2015 under leadership of Professors Hancock and Freeman.

July 2014 – Eighth calibration workshop (and final one under the project) was held at UTS.  Several academics from 17 higher education institutions were represented and four professional practitioners participated. Expert observers from the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching present.  Also present as observer was Berry O’Donovan, a leading international academic from the United Kingdom who has been pioneering research in this area with colleagues Chris Rust and Margaret Price for over a decade.  The fourth external peer review of live data took place the follow day.

November 2013 – First article published in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education called “Social moderation, assessment and assuring standards for accounting graduates”

Achievement Matters News

15 Jul 2013

Dynamic duo receive national accounting education award

A rare national education award last presented in 2000 has been jointly awarded to the UWA Business School’s Associate Dean Teaching and Learning Winthrop Professor Phil Hancock and The University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Mark Freeman.

The Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ)’s Outstanding Contribution to Accounting and Finance – Education Award recognises the contributions to accounting and finance education made by the duo over the last thirty years.

Dean of the UWA Business School, Winthrop Professor Phil Dolan, congratulated Winthrop Professor Hancock on his achievement.

“This award is a very well-deserved honour and a measure of the esteem in which Winthrop Professor Hancock is held by his colleagues,” Winthrop Professor Dolan said.

The AFAANZ award is judged on criteria including: receipt of international or national teaching awards; published research on teaching and learning; leadership in high-level activities; and innovation through the development and use of technologies.

Most recently, Professors Hancock and Freeman co-led the ‘Development and Assessment of Accounting Learning Standards’ project. Commissioned by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, the project aimed to define the minimum learning standards expected of accounting graduates.

This work has now been extended through the ‘Achievement matters: External peer review of accounting learning standards’ project, an initiative backed by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC). Also led by Professors Hancock and Freeman, the project is establishing a model for assessing whether students work meets the learning standards and has funding from the Office for Learning and Teaching, CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Over many years, Professors Hancock and Freeman have chaired the ABDC Teaching and Learning Network, been heavily involved with CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, pioneered an online software designed to facilitate teamwork in classes, and received numerous teaching awards.

Currently, however, Winthrop Professor Hancock is focussing his energy on the ‘Achievement matters’ project.

“The project should assist students in developing and demonstrating important skills—such as knowledge, judgement,critical analysis, teamwork and oral and written communication—which will be valuable to them both in their future careers and their own life journeys,” Winthrop Professor Hancock said.

“We are aiming to achieve this through improving the assessment design and teaching methods that are used throughout Australia so that students are able to better develop and demonstrate these critical skills.”

Achievement Matters wins 2012 B-HERT award for Excellence in Accounting Teaching Collaboration

Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minster for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research presented the award for Excellence in  Accounting Teaching Collaboration 2012 at a ceremony in Melbourne on 8 November.

The B-HERT Awards were established in 1998 to recognise outstanding achievement in collaboration between business and higher education  in the fields of research & development and education & training. The objective of the program is to highlight at a national level the benefits  of such collaboration and enhance links between industry and universities.