Assessment Moderation Policy

Status


Approved

The aim of assessment moderation is to ensure consistency and fairness of the marking and grading processes. Moderation is especially important where units are delivered in multiple modes, at multiple campuses or where the assessment is subjective. Assessment moderation enhances confidence in assessment outcomes for both academics and students, Assessment moderation is applied at three stages: assessment design and development; implementation, marking and grading; and review and...

Public
visibility
Approved on: 05 Aug 2013
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by

Learning, Teaching and Research Committee

Approved by

Academic Board

Policy Contact: 
Secretary, Learning Teaching and Research Committee
Background: 

Replaces previous Grade Monitoring and Moderation Policy.

Purpose: 

The aim of assessment moderation is to ensure consistency and fairness of the marking and grading processes. Moderation is especially important where units are delivered in multiple modes, at multiple campuses or where the assessment is subjective. Assessment moderation enhances confidence in assessment outcomes for both academics and students, Assessment moderation is applied at three stages: assessment design and development; implementation, marking and grading; and review and evaluation.

Scope: 

The Policy refers relates to all units of study delivered by the College or any of its teaching partners.

Statement: 

Relationship to the Threshold Standards: Course Accreditation Standard 5.3 Course management and coordination including moderation procedures, ensure consistent and appropriate assessment.

Introduction

To ensure that the assessment process for each unit delivery is fair, valid and reliable each unit delivery will be undergo assessment moderation applied at three stages: assessment design and development; implementation, marking and grading; and review and evaluation.

Stage 1: Assessment Design and Development

Assessment moderation in the design and development stage is managed though UGBOOT which is the College’s Curriculum Management Software. The Academic in Charge in conjunction with the Unit Co-ordinator set the delivery schedule and assessment tasks and marking rubrics for the unit of study.

The following processes are crucial in developing assessment strategies that are fair, valid and reliable:

  • Alignment of assessment tasks to learning outcomes
  • Marking criteria and grading rubrics that align the specific requirements of the assessment task to the College’s sub division of grades
  • The Academic in charge must also consider the appropriate type of assessments tasks, number of assessment tasks, weighting of assessments tasks, and complexity of the assessment task for the level of the unit.

The Unit Guide is then moderated by a Quality assessor who ensures that:

  • Suitable topics are planned which will cover the content intended for the Unit;
  • The learning outcomes intended for the unit can be met by the topics and resources which will be delivered;
  • The assessment tasks are aligned to the learning outcomes or competencies in a manner which will adequately test the skills and knowledge gained by the learner;
  • The marking rubric is clear and precise and links to the description of the assessment task;
  • The weighted value of the tasks is appropriate having regard to the complexity of the task and its academic demand.

Stage 2: Assessment Implementation, Marking and Grading

Ideally, the same person should mark an assessment task across all deliveries of a unit in the same Semester. Whenever more than one person marks the same assessment task in a unit delivery or where the unit is delivered in more than one mode or at different locations in the same semester, a moderation process must be used to ensure consistency of marks and grades. When a unit is delivered in multiple modes or locations within a Semester or when more than one marker is assigned to an assessment task one of the following moderation processes must be adopted:

  • Second marking – A sample of assessed items will be marked a second time by another academic staff member. The items chosen for second marking should be representative and be a number equal to the square root of the total number of assessed items or five items, whichever is the larger. If there are sufficient inconsistencies within the sample than all items may be required to be re-marked.
  • Blind double marking – The moderator is not informed of the previous marker’s grade. If the marks given by the two markers are within 10% of each other, the final mark is the average of the two. If the marks differ by more than 10% a third marker examines the work. The markers may then discuss the marks to arrive at a consensus result of the median of the three marks is taken as the final mark.
  • Cross marking – Where the unit is delivered in multiple locations or modes the marking is shared across all locations/modes so that one person marks all of the same assessment task for all locations/modes.

Second marking of grades for new markers. Where a person is marking for the first time, the unit co-ordinator will second mark a sample of assessed items following the guidelines for second marking above.

Confirmatory review of all fail grades for assessment tasks weighted over 40%. The moderator is informed of the previous marker’s judgement and the reviewer’s task is to check whether they agree with the previous marker.

Stage 3: Assessment Review and Evaluation

Assessment review and evaluation is part of the ongoing improvement process which can provide input to adjust the assessment strategy for the next time the unit is delivered. Each unit of study will undergo external review and assessment benchmarking at least once within the cycle of accreditation. A sample of assessment tasks will be blind marked by an academic external to the College. The external academic will also conduct a review on the assessment strategy for the unit.

The following information will be used internally in the review and evaluation of assessment:

  • Grade Distribution reports (with comparative data from previous deliveries)
  • Unit Evaluation and Improvement feedback from students
  • External review and benchmarking reports.

This information will be forwarded to the Unit Co-ordinator (UC) and Head of School (HOS). A response will be provided by both UC and HOS and any improvement items entered into the Quality Improvement section for the unit of study in UGBOOT.