The review process is an integral part of the University's Quality Assurance process. All coursework programs offered by the University are subject to review as part of a seven year cycle. Oversight of these reviews is the responsibility of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice President (Academic).
Reviews are designed to provide program teams, schools and faculties with:
- Opportunity for formative self-evaluation and constructive dialogue with key stakeholders including students, employers, alumni and the wider community;
- Independent feedback, advice and recommendations in response to self-evaluation and planning, within a benchmarked context and with reference to national and international exemplars, standards and quality assurance frameworks, and relevant institutional data;
- An evidence-base for strategic and outcomes-focused identification of future prospects and enhancement priorities;
- Transparent implementation plans for strategic and enhancement initiatives.
The broad aims for Academic Programs reviews are to:
- evaluate the quality of the curriculum and its delivery in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs in relation to the expectations set out in relevant University strategies and the University’s Graduate Attributes, national and international trends in the discipline(s) and, where relevant, accreditation by professional statutory and regulatory bodies;
- evaluate the quality of program governance, management and enhancement processes, including approaches to working with students as partners and to external engagement;
- assess the program’s progress since the previous review, with reference to the outcomes of the implementation plan in response to the recommendations of that review;
- identify and give recognition to best practice and successful outcomes;
- identify opportunities and priorities for development and enhancement, including for curriculum renewal and enhancement of delivery, and with a focus on student recruitment, experience, engagement, satisfaction, retention, academic performance, graduate destinations and employer satisfaction;
- identify areas where resources and support might be needed to enable enhancement priorities to be addressed;
- ensure that a high standard of academic program awards is maintained.
A seven-year Academic Program Review Schedule is developed by Education Quality in consultation with Executive Deans, and approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice President (Academic) (DVCA&VP(A)). The schedule is updated on an annual basis. The updated schedule for a given calendar year is reported to University Education Committee at the end of the preceding calendar year.
To avoid unnecessary duplication, cognate programs are often grouped for the purpose of review, and the schedule is developed with due consideration to the timing of external accreditation processes for programs with professional accreditation requirements.
The Academic Program Reviews Process map provides a high level overview of the complete process.
Details of the current Academic Program Reviews scheduled.
Terms of reference
While the use of standard Terms of Reference is recommended, the Executive Dean can provide modified or alternative Terms of Reference. The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) will approve the final Terms of Reference for the review.
Reviews involve a 5-member panel which is established with the aim of facilitating independent peer review, and must include an external reviewer. The panel would typically comprise:
Member Selection Senior Academic (Convenor) - internal staff member Professor - independent to the School/Discipline area of the program(s) under review Academic - external appointee Professor - from the same or similar area to the program(s) under review Education Specialist Adelaide Education Academy member - independent to the School/Discipline area of the program(s) under review Two students Ordinarily an UG or PGCW student in the program under review
In specified circumstances, approval may be given by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Learning for a modified program review process, called a Consolidated Review. In this case, an independent reviewer is appointed in place of the Panel. The Fact Sheet: Consolidated Program Review (pdf) provides an overview of the modified process.
International reviewers can only be included if travel and accommodation costs are met by the Faculty. Executive Deans will nominate prospective reviewers for consideration and approval by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning).
Standard reviews of programs focus on the quality of the curriculum and its delivery, its governance and progress since the last review, best practice, and opportunities for development and enhancement with a focus on student participation, and are guided by the Terms of Reference.
An internal team appointed by the Executive Dean after consultation with the academic unit, undertakes a self-evaluation process commencing no less than seven months prior to the Review Panel convening. The outcome of the process is the preparation of a Self Evaluation Report (SER) for submission* to the Review Panel.
Invitations to provide submissions to the Review Panel are made to internal and external stakeholders. The faculty, in consultation with Education Quality, develops a list of relevant stakeholders inclusive of students and representatives from both industry and professional groups. Education Quality engages stakeholders for invitation of written submissions, and may also invite some of the stakeholders to an interview with the Review Panel.
*Where a 5-member panel is formed, the SER is submitted 6 weeks prior to the panel convening. Where an external appointee only conducts the review, the SER submission deadline is provided by Education Quality.
Reviews involving a 5-member panel
The Review Panel commences drafting of the Review Report during the final session, with a particular focus on developing the recommendations. At the conclusion, the Panel delivers an oral debrief of their recommendations and commendations to review participants and stakeholders. Supported by Education Quality, a draft set of written recommendations is finalised with the Convenor in the week following the Review Panel's final session, with the final Review Report submitted to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning).
Reviews involving an independent reviewer appointee only
The external appointee provides written recommendations and commendations from which Education Quality produces a final Review Report which is submitted to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning).
On receipt of the final Review Report, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) will provide an opportunity for the relevant Executive Dean(s) to review and respond to the report and its recommendations. Following this consultation, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) presents the Report to Academic Board. Recommendations requiring discussion of resource matters (eg. staff, financial and physical) will be considered by Vice-Chancellor's Executive in the first instance.
Academic Board or the Vice-Chancellor's Executive, where appropriate, is responsible for endorsing the final recommendations (to the extent that they fall within its Terms of Reference), and recommending their approval to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Approved reports are available from the review reports and implementation plan page.
Responsibility for the development, execution, and monitoring of Implementation Plans:
- Membership of the Working Group will be approved by the Executive Dean in consultation with stakeholders, and will include representation from course coordinators, students, and the Faculty Deputy Dean (Learning and Teaching).
- A finalised Implementation Plan will be provided to Education Quality within six weeks of Academic Board’s consideration of the Review Report. The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) will provide the Implementation Plan to the next available meeting of Academic Board.
- The Executive Dean will submit updates on the progress of the actions described in the Implementation Plan to Education Quality. These updates will be required after another four months and then a further eight months following the initial implementation plan. The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) will provide progress reports on Implementation Plans to the next available meeting of Academic Board.
Implementation plans and progress reports are available from the review reports, recommendations and implementation plans page. For details regarding the process for development, execution and monitoring of implementation plans please view the process map.