There has been quite a bit of interest in the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) Academic Calibration Process (ACP) following the recent Learning Futures Roadshow, so we thought we would ask Cecilia Arrigoni (Griffith’s IRU Academic Calibration Coordinator) to tell us a little bit more about the process.


What are the aims of the IRU Academic Calibration Process?

The process aims to:

  • demonstrate the appropriateness of the standards of learning outcomes and grades awarded in IRU universities
  • maintain and improve the academic standards of IRU
  • enable comparisons of learning outcomes in similar courses across IRU
  • promote discussion on good practice in learning and teaching across IRU.

What are the benefits to convenors of having their course calibrated?

At its core the benefit of calibration is to improve student learning and engagement.

The calibration process also provides a comparable review and constructive feedback for selected courses by reporting on:

  • agreement of grades awarded
  • the relationship between assessment and learning outcomes
  • the relationship and appropriateness of a course, within its designated program structures
  • the comparative quality and appropriateness of assessment design, learning outcomes, and supporting material for a course
  • the comparison of the assessment and supporting items to that of other institutions.

If staff are interested in having their course calibrated, they can register their interest by filling out and submitting the form on the IRU Academic Calibration Process website.

The Academic Calibration Process (ACP) is a process of external, discipline-led academic peer review that is undertaken in collaboration with other Innovative Research Universities (IRU).

What kinds of courses can be calibrated?

Most undergraduate and post graduate courses are eligible for calibration. General guidelines for course selection include:

  • there are at least 12 students in the cohort for student sampling across the passing grade bands
  • there is an assessment type that reflects all or most of the course level learning outcomes
  • there is an assessment type that is approximately 2000-4000 words, or equivalent.

Modifications do exist and most courses can be accommodated. Feel free to get in touch with me to discuss options and eligibility for your course.

How have reviewers found participating in the process valuable?

Calibration is an excellent form of professional learning giving you the opportunity to experience and evaluate a course in your discipline area from another institution. In many cases calibrators have reported there is a cross-pollination of ideas, where they too learnt how to improve their courses from the evaluation of other courses.

What is your role in the process?

When Griffith staff are involved in the academic calibration process, through calibrating their course or being a reviewer, I am their first point of contact. I also work with Heads of School and Program Directors to offer input on courses that might be suitable for calibration.

My role is to ensure a seamless, standardised process occurs for each course calibrated. All of the calibration coordinators in the IRU network coordinate and oversee the process of external review. Correspondence between universities is conducted through ACP coordinators to ensure consistency, impartiality and efficiency in the process.

How can interested staff find out more or participate in the process?

The best way to find out more is to visit the website and read the Frequently Asked Questions and calibration guides. You can fill out the online form to register your interest in calibrating your course or being a reviewer. l am also at Griffith on Tuesdays and Thursdays to discuss the process further with any interested staff.