Subject benchmark statements-The role of the QAA by kaj11697


									Subject benchmark statements

            The role of the QAA

Dr Laura Bellingham
Development and Enhancement Group
            Talk Outline
• What are subject benchmark
• What is the process followed in their
• How are they used?
• The National Committee of Inquiry into
  Higher Education in 1997 recommended
  the introduction of subject benchmark
• …to set out standards of attainment for
  degrees in particular subjects (at
  threshold level)
• Academics would develop the standards,
  working closely with subject associations
  and professional bodies
     The work of the QAA
• Since the concept was first introduced,
  QAA has overseen the development of:
- 56 subject benchmark statements
  across a range of subjects/disciplines
• Nine statements articulate standards at
  master’s degree level
  What do subject benchmark
       statements do?
• Describe the conceptual framework that
  gives a discipline its coherence and
• Acknowledge the diversity of
  programmes within limits agreed by the
  subject community
• Ensure that the statement enables
  rather than constrains innovation
  What do subject benchmark
       statements do?
• Set out the attributes and capabilities
  expected of graduates
• Avoid producing a detailed specification
  of a curriculum and prescribing
  approaches to teaching, learning and
• Reflect a consensus within the
  academic community
       Typical structure of a
       benchmark statement
• Defining principles
• Nature and extent of the subject
• Knowledge, understanding and skills
  • Subject-specific
  • Generic
• Teaching, learning and assessment
• Benchmark standards
  • Threshold
  • (Typical)
  • (Excellent)
        Purpose and role
• Set out standards – used in internal and
  external quality assurance (programme
  design, delivery & review)
• May be of interest to students and
  employers and others
• Used in some disciplines (eg
  Engineering) in programme
   Process of development
• QAA is responsive to requests for new
  statements received through its
  Recognition Scheme (2004)
• If there is a clear case for a new statement,
  we work with an expert group drawn from
  and working on behalf of, the subject
• QAA provides support and guidance
• Process is consultative

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