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Understanding Academic Benchmarking in Schools

Understanding Academic Benchmarking in Schools

Academic benchmarking is setting measurable benchmarks or standards to evaluate an individual’s academic performance or the efficacy of an educational system. 

It is a system that ranks individuals and institutions against others for comparisons and to assess the pain points that need to be improved. 

Often these benchmarks are set at the beginning of an Academic year and used at the end of the year or the semester to assess whether those standards have been achieved. 

In Australia, PISA tests are used to determine the performance of individuals and schools. It helps educators and governments to course-correct their curriculum if the benchmarks still need to be fulfilled. The difference between PISA and PISA for schools lies within the objective. PISA helps assess the student’s performance, while PISA for schools sets benchmarks for educational institutions for easy comparison and performance assessment. 

Such assessments can help reform the education system and make it better for everyone. 

What is academic benchmarking in schools?

It effectively evaluates the students’ competency in a specific subject or study area. 

Academic benchmarking in schools provides the teacher insight into how the students are performing and what aspects of their performance need to be improved. 

Moreover, it provides the institutions with a deeper understanding of students’ behaviours and what learning styles are effective for them. With this knowledge about what works and what may not, educators can guide the students accordingly and change their teaching styles to accommodate their needs. 

Benchmarking also allows teachers to structure their way of teaching to maximise the results. If educators start planning early and devise their strategies accordingly, they can help the students achieve the targets and improve their academic performance. 

What is the purpose of Academic benchmarking?

Academic benchmarking helps identify the level of student comprehension, enables educators to plan their teaching methods, helps identify struggling students, and makes it easier for institutions to communicate the student’s performance to their parents. 

Moreover, with such an engaging way of benchmarking, students are less likely to fall behind as schools will actively engage with their students. In the long run, this leads to structured student growth in a school year, assuming the testing is done regularly and with the given school’s curriculum. 

Tracking individual growth also becomes easier since the students and educators get the data about their performance early on through testing.

What are the benefits of tracking students’ performance? 

  • Helps collect useful data

Regular assessments sample the student’s understanding of a particular subject matter. It is helpful while monitoring students throughout the academic year as it can help the educators set personal goals for them to achieve the benchmarks. 

  • Improves teaching

Not only are regular benchmarking and performance monitoring beneficial for students, but it is also beneficial for teachers. It showcases the effectiveness of their teaching and helps institutions hire better teachers or train them accordingly. 

  • Encourages growth

By setting a benchmark at the begging of the school year and comparing it with their current performance, the students can assess their current performance level and how much they need to improve. With the right motivation and teacher guidance, the objective becomes much clearer, and the goals seem achievable. 

  • Identification of at-risk students

Not everyone learns the same, and every student has a different ability to grasp various subjects. Continued benchmarking allows teachers to identify struggling students at risk of failing. The teachers can intervene and re-teach certain topics or subjects to them to benefit the student. 

So, academic benchmarking is crucial as it can help students visualise their goals and make it easier for educators to help them achieve them.

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