The higher education (HE) context is constantly changing shape at the global level due to the massification of HE and the rapid growth of HE providers. A direct consequence is that government quality agencies are making explicit the importance of external referencing and peer review to ensure the comparability of standards across the HE sector. In Australia, the national government recently endorsed the Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF) which puts the focus on peer review, external referencing and benchmarking. Standard 5.3.4 which is about the regular external referencing of courses, including the comparison of student data, assessment methods and grading, has significant resource implications for the HE sector. Education Services Australia (ESA), a not-for-profit company owned by the Australian Education Ministers, commissioned a paper (Krause, 2014) to explore cost-effective solutions for the HE sector. This paper will provide an overview of the proof-of-concept trial to look for technology solutions that: 1) provide streamlined, sustainable and cost effective solutions to support interchange of good practice around core business operations, with a particular on assuring the quality of program level outcomes and assessment and; 2) address the quality assurance and standards imperatives for the HE sector.
Keywords: peer review, assessment, academic support, online resource