Academic Evidence for Content Mapping

Most academics agree some level of evidence based content mapping is central to establishing the equivalence of learning outcomes, grades and English proficiency exit test scores.

International English Language Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

ELICOS programs are highly regulated and are designed for student who require intensive English language training before commencing academic studies in Australia. Intensive means a minimum of 20 hours of scheduled classes involving face-to-face contact hours of English language instruction. So the evidence we require to benchmark levels of achievement or proficiency accounts for this and numerous other important requirements.

ELICOS Evidence Checklist

Australian providers of ELICOS programs should submit evidence showing:

  1. The CRICOS course code and name as it appears on a Statement of Results/Transcript.
  2. Entry requirements (e.g. minimum English language achievement/proficiency; entry test or other prerequisites);
  3. Minimum hours of scheduled classes involving face-to-face contact hours of English language instruction (per week and total);
  4. The qualifications and experience of Academic Managers and Teachers;
  5. Course objectives, learning activities, learning outcomes and teaching methods;
  6. Educational resources and technologies used to enable classroom learning activities, independent student practice, study, research and assessment;
  7. Strategies for monitoring student progress;
  8. English language proficiency standards showing grade-level clusters;
  9. Summative assessment matrix/rubrics for final exit assessment items (whether they be an essay, written or spoken assessment);
  10. For each summative/final assessment item provide three examples of fails, three of just pass (credit) and three high standards (high distinction/distinction);
  11. Current membership with NEAS and/or English Australia;
  12. Current registration through the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) or the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA);
  13. Course currency and the next scheduled review period; and
  14. URL links to evidence showing that the IELTS comparable exit test scores (or equivalent) have been benchmarked as meeting the minimum English language proficiency requirements for entry into higher education courses by at least two Australian Universities.

International English Language Courses (IELC)

Providers of English language courses delivered overseas are designed for student who require intensive English language training in an overseas location.

IELC Evidence Checklist

International providers of IELC programs should submit evidence showing:

  1. The course code and name as it appears on a Statement of Results/Transcript.
  2. Entry requirements (e.g. minimum English language achievement/proficiency; entry test or other prerequisits);
  3. Minimum hours of scheduled face-to-face classes and/or online English language instruction (per week and total);
  4. The qualifications and experience of Academic Managers and Teachers;
  5. Course objectives, learning activities, learning outcomes and teaching methods;
  6. Educational resources and technologies used to enable classroom learning activities, independent student practice, study, research and assessment;
  7. Strategies for monitoring student progress;
  8. English language proficiency standards showing grade-level clusters;
  9. Summative assessment matrix/rubrics for final exit assessment items (whether they be an essay, written or spoken assessment);
  10. For each summative/final assessment item provide three examples of fails, three of just pass (credit) and three high standards (high distinction/distinction);
  11. Current international membership with NEAS;
  12. Current registration through a relevant accrediting body in home country or in Australia through the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) or the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA);
  13. Course currency and the next scheduled review period; and
  14. URL links to evidence showing that the IELTS comparable exit test scores (or equivalent) have been benchmarked as meeting the minimum English language proficiency requirements for entry into higher education courses by at least two Australian Universities.

AQF accredited courses/qualifications

Formal learning within a nationally recognised, accredited course or qualification provides a person with an award or qualification on completion. Accreditation is confirmation that the qualification/award meets Australian quality, industry, educational and legislative requirements. The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated courses and qualifications in Australia, encompassing higher education, vocational education and training and schools.

As the AQF specifies learning outcomes for each AQF level and qualification type and requirements for linkages, pathways and issuing qualifications, the range and complexity of academic evidence required by the University is minimal when mapping between AQF accredited courses/qualifications and Southern Cross courses.

AQF Accredited Course/Qualification Evidence checklist

Australian Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), including TAFE and Higher Education Providers (HEPs), including universities should submit evidence showing:

  1. Nationally Recognised course code and name (being the complete nomenclature as it appears on the Testamur or Certificate);
  2. CRICOS course code (if applicable);
  3. Course currency and the next scheduled review period;
  4. URL links to evidence showing the course has been benchmarked as meeting the minimum academic requirements for entry into and/or credit towards higher education courses by at least two Australian Universities; and
  5. One of the following academic documents:
  • URL link to the VET National Training Package showing qualification entry requirements and prerequisites, packaging rules, structure, mix of core and elective units and their learning and assessment outcomes (available from the National Register of VET); or
  • the VET Accredited Course Curriculum containing course entry requirements and prerequisites, rules, structure, mix of core and elective units and their learning and assessment outcomes (available from the relevant training developer listed on the National Register of VET); or
  • the Higher Education Qualification Curriculum containing qualification entry requirements and prerequisites, rules, mix of core and elective units of study and their learning and assessment outcomes (available from the HEP, as listed on the National Register of Higher Education Providers.

Internationally accredited courses/qualifications

The Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition January 2013 provides information on the principles and processes for the alignment of the AQF with International Qualifications Frameworks, developed by the Australian Government, the AQF Council and the AQF International Alignment Committee. The latter undertakes the technical alignment of the AQF with other nations or regions and includes representation from peak bodies, qualification developers, quality assurance authorities and other experts such as Australian Education International, able to advise on the comparability of overseas qualification levels using the AQF as the benchmark. 

Where Country Education Profiles (CEP), the UK NARIC, or a comparable system verifies institute details and/or the comparability of the course/qualification to AQF Qualification levels, the range and complexity of academic evidence required by the University is reduced when mapping between internationally accredited courses/qualifications and Southern Cross courses.

Internationally Accredited Course/Qualification Evidence checklist

Internationally accredited Institutes including Colleges and Higher Education Providers (HEPs), such as Universities should submit evidence for content mapping showing:

  1. The course/qualification code and/or name (being the complete nomenclature as it appears on a Certificate/Testamur);
  2. A sample Certificate/Testamur and Transcript/Statement of Results showing the marking or grading system;
  3. Total equivalent full-time duration of study, including credit points;
  4. Confirmation that the qualification is delivered and assessed in English (if applicable);
  5. Course currency and the next scheduled review period;
  6. URL links to evidence showing the course has been benchmarked as meeting the minimum academic requirements for entry into and/or credit towards higher education courses by at least two Australian Universities; and
  7. Curriculum describing:
  • entry requirements and any prerequisite skills, subjects or qualifications;
  • course rules and structure, including the sequence of core and elective subjects; and
  • subject aims, including detailed learning and assessment outcomes.

Non-accredited programs

Non-formal learning within a Non-accredited course or professional development program does not lead to a qualification. These programs are built around organisational, group or individual training needs. They may include a structured program of teaching and learning, but may not include assessment. Detailed curriculum of thorough length and complexity is required to:

  • establish equivalence to the AQF benchmark, by identifying where the program fits within the AQF levels summaries, learning outcomes criteria and qualification type descriptors;
  • consider the relative volume of learning and depth of knowledge/skills within each module of learning; and
  • identify if there is sufficient correlation in terms of cognate disciplines and learning outcomes.

Non-Accredited Program Evidence checklist

An organisation delivering a non-accredited short course, seminar or professional development program should submit the following evidence showing:

  1. The Course/program title (being the complete nomenclature as it appears on a Statement of Attendance or Participation).
  2. A detailed course/program descriptor, including summary of any entry requirements (e.g. prerequisite skills, subjects or qualifications; minimum language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) requirements; and English language proficiency levels);
  3. Minimum Volume of Learning;
  4. Course/program aims, rules, structure, specializations and sequence of modules to be learned;
  5. The depth and relative complexity of the performance criteria or learning outcomes, skills sets and any research elements within each module;
  6. Learner attributes;
  7. Study materials, learning and technology resources and text requirements;
  8. The context of learning (environments, equipment, forms of communication and if any interaction is necessary with others such as clients, team members or the general public etc.);
  9. Strategies for monitoring learner progress;
  10. Guidelines for evaluation, benchmarks and approaches, including evidence gathering techniques towards formative assessment (such as scenarios and role play with sample responses, group or self evaluations, general feedback or testimonials; and
  11. the course/program continual improvement strategy;
  12. Statement regarding course currency and usual course review period; and
  13. A summative assessment matrix (if applicable); and
  14. URL links to evidence showing the program has been benchmarked as meeting the minimum academic requirements for entry into and/or credit towards higher education courses by at least two Australian Universities.

What if documents are not in English?

Non-English documents must be accompanied by an authorised English translation. For further information view Translation of Non-English Documents

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