Group of Eight Quality Verification System
The Group of Eight (Go8) Quality Verification System (QVS) is a quality assurance activity for leading research intensive universities in Australia.
The annual activity provides public assurance and confidence that undergraduate learning outcomes and grades are comparable across the Go8 and in line with world leading universities. Go8 QVS involves the expert review of a randomly selected and de-identified sample of students’ final year assessments at each grade level along with course outlines/guide and learning outcomes, how learning outcomes relate to degree level outcomes, and grade nomenclature.
Go8 QVS in 2019
QVS 2019 will involve:
- Mathematical Sciences
- Earth Sciences
- Automotive Engineering and Technology
- Rehabilitation Therapies
- Banking, Finance and Related Fields
- Political Science and Policy Studies
- Behavioural Science
Go8 QVS in 2018
QVS 2018 involved 10 disciplines:
- Physics and Astronomy
- Information Systems
- Aerospace Engineering and Technology
- Studies in Human Society
- Public Health
- Language and Literature
- Philosophy and Religious Studies
- Economics and Econometrics
- Visual Arts and Crafts
- Business and Management
Go8 QVS in 2017
QVS 2017 involved 6 disciplines:
- Architecture and Urban Environment
- Chemical Sciences
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology
- Medical Studies (including Biomedical Sciences and excluding MBBS programs)
There will be 12 outgoing and 12 incoming courses, to be managed by Learning & Quality Support who have already begun the preparations to support the 2017 process. QVS has been an important way for the University to benchmark its courses and is an important piece of our overall QA framework. It has been a valuable experience for those involved with many reports indicating that the experience has translated into positive changes for our courses and has provided academics involved in the reviews with insights into ways for improving courses they deliver.
Go8 QVS in 2016
QVS 2016 involved 6 disciplines: Archaeology (the University of Adelaide did not participate in this discipline as there was no comparative offering), Biology, Education, Environmental Science, Engineering and Law. The University of Adelaide participated in reviews for:
- Environmental Science
A report for 2016 will be generated by Go8 and will be available here. QVS has been an important way for the University to benchmark its courses and is an important piece of our overall QA framework. It has been a valuable experience for those involved with many reports indicating that the experience has translated into positive changes for our courses, not only for those that have been reviewed but also for academics involved in the reviews in terms of providing insight into improving courses they deliver.
Go8 QVS in 2015
In May 2015, the Go8 DVCAs agreed that the QVS needed to review more fields more often to be effective, and proposed expanding it to cover 10 fields each year. This proved administratively difficult to implement and no fields were selected to be reviewed during 2015.
Go8 QVS in 2014
The fields chosen for review in 2014 were Political Science, Geology and Sociology. The University of Adelaide participated in reviews for:
- Political Science
- English (deferred from 2013).
The reviewers agreed with the grades awarded in the Geology courses and in one of the English courses. The second English course attracted some differences of opinion, as did the Politics capstone course. Positive comments were made about appropriate learning objectives and concise and manageable policy materials.
Go8 QVS in 2013
The continuing success of the process has resulted in the QVS no longer being designated a 'pilot' by the Go8 Secretariat. In 2013, the fields chosen for review were Mathematics, Mandarin and English.
The University of Adelaide participated in 2013 reviews for:
In addition, the Group of Eight Engineering Deans and Associates confirmed in 2013 that they would participate in the QVS process established for the Go8.
The University participated in the following Engineering reviews for a sample of the 2012 final year student projects:
- Electrical and Electronic
Although the mathematics reviewer considered some marks to be too high, he did not make any negative comments about Adelaide's materials or processes. Similarly, while some marks in Engineering were considered too high, positive comments were made about Adelaide's course materials and processes.
Go8 QVS in 2012
The viability and effectiveness of the Go8 QVS project was demonstrated through the 2011 pilot and as a result the Go8 determined to continue the process in 2012. It was resolved at the meeting of the Go8 Academic Policy Committee held 6 March that the fields be expanded this year to include: Physics, History, Psychology, Accounting, Chemistry, Economics and Philosophy. The following fields at the University participated this year:
In 2012, there was agreement with the marks awarded in the Accounting, Chemistry, Economics and Philosophy courses reviewed. There was some difference of opinion for the Psychology courses, attributed by the reviewer to the use of different markers.
Go8 QVS in 2011 - pilot
The Go8 QVS was piloted in 2011, during which each Go8 university participated in the review of two or more of the following fields of education during semester 1: Physics, History, Psychology, Accounting and Chemistry. The table below shows 2011 reviews by university and field of education.
Table 1. QVS reviews by university and field of education, 2011 pilot UWA Monash Melbourne Adelaide ANU Sydney UQ UNSW Physics Physics Physics Physics Physics History History History History History History History Psychology Psychology Accounting Accounting Accounting Accounting Accounting Accounting Chemistry Chemistry
The fields reviewed in 2011 at the University of Adelaide (UA) were History (2 courses) and Physics. A stratified random sample of 5% of student assessment for each of these courses was verified by reviewers at another Go8.
The 2011 pilot found that academic standards were comparable across Go8 universities. An analysis of the fit between grades actually awarded and grades deemed appropriate by reviewers found a close match, with relatively few assessment items being marked above or below the levels that reviewers deemed appropriate.
Regarding the effectiveness of the QVS at monitoring and maintaining standards, reviewers' comments were mostly positive, though several noted that it would be premature to make an informed, final judgement at this early stage in the project's life.
Among the features of the QVS identified as the 'best aspects' of the project by reviewers were:
- its basic administrative properties (flexibility – including choice of units etc for review, and timing and scope; the 'openness' of the process; limited administrative burden; small sample of work to examine; efficient use of electronic forms);
- its reliance on academic expertise and judgement; and – most importantly –
- its contribution to reflection and discussion on teaching and learning practice.
In 2011, there was agreement with the grades awarded for Physics and one of the History courses reviewed. The other History course reviewed attracted some difference of opinion, mainly where the reviewer believed the grades awarded for research essays was too high. It should be noted that History courses at the University are designated as advanced level (level 2 or 3) and a course might therefore be undertaken by a majority of second year rather than final year students.
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