Benchmarking is a tool for improving performance. In learning and teaching benchmarking is an evidence-based process that encourages comparisons with other institutions to enhance good practice. The process of benchmarking involves:
- identifying areas for improvement
- choosing benchmark indicators (quantitative measures of achievement)
- collecting information to enable comparisons (in order to improve performance).
Comparisons may be made against:
- individual benchmarking partners or benchmarking groups
- other programs within the university
- sets of accepted standards (sector, professional, industry), which may or may not result in certification/accreditation
- data on past performance.
The University aspires to be in the top quintile of Australian universities by 2020 (Horizon 2020). In order to achieve this aspiration we need to be able to know that what we do is effective, be able to learn from others and adapt best practices.
Benchmarking at the University of South Australia, occurs in the context of program evaluation, it involves making considered comparisons of key aspects of program performance to inform improvement activity or affirm excellence. Systematic benchmarking with other tertiary institutions is central to the program review process. Benchmarking does not simply mean comparison with other similar programs but should seek to lead to significant improvements in performance and to distinguishing UniSA and its programs. Benchmarking against other programs from South Australian, ATN or other universities which you have identified may include:
- selection process and TER
- program structure and curriculum
- placement/practicum component
- status and credit arrangements
- resources and funding
- delivery modes
- Graduate Qualities/key skills
- progression to further study
- rating of professional bodies.
Further assistance with benchmarking is available from your:
- Head of School can share good practices from across your School disciplines
- Divisional Dean: Teaching and Learning can share good practices from across your Division or Centre for Regional Engagement
- The Dean of Graduate Studies can provide support relating to the evaluation of higher degrees by research.
- Academic development staff at Learning and Teaching Unit can support program review activities, including benchmarking
- Quality assurance and improvement: Programs, courses and teaching arrangements (A-35A) (PDF 96KB - opens in a new window. Download Adobe Reader)
- Quality assurance and improvement of higher degrees by research (RES 15)
- A35A Program Review Data
- Teaching and Learning Academic Standards Framework (PDF 263kb - opens in a new window. Download Adobe Acrobat). This framework of internal and external performance benchmarks acts as a nexus between the University's Vision, Mission and Values and its aspirations in teaching and learning as articulated in the Horizon 2020 document and the Teaching and Learning Framework.
- Vision, mission and values
- Horizon 2020
- LTU Academic Development staff can support program review activities, including benchmarking.
Business Intelligence (BI)
The BI Hub is the
gateway to UniSA data and information and provides reports, tip
sheets and useful references. (UniSA logon access required).
Access data from corporate surveys (via the BI Reporting Hub) such as the:
- Australian Graduate Survey (AGS), which incorporates the Graduate Destination Survey (GDS), the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) and the Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ)
- Transnational Graduate Survey, which is the offshore equivalent of the AGS.
- Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE), developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).
- Transnational Student Experiences Questionnaire (TSEQ), first conducted in 2005 and repeated biennially. The survey involves transnational (offshore) students studying in English and Mandarin.
- Beyond Graduation Survey, administered through GCA to capture graduate outcomes three to four years after completion.
- Academic Risk, Standards and Benchmarking (Charles Sturt University)
- Benchmarking in learning and teaching at USQ (University of Southern Queensland) (PDF 101kb - opens in a new window. Download Adobe Acrobat)
- Benchmarking Framework (University of Southern Queensland) (PDF 100kb - opens in a new window)
- Guide to Benchmarking (University of Wollongong)
- AUQA Australian Universities Quality Agency. AUQA Good Practice Database.
- ACODE Australasian Council on Open Distance and E-Learning (ACODE), Benchmarks for the use of Technology in Learning and Teaching in Universities.