Moderation is a system designed and implemented to:
provide comparability in the system of school-based assessment
form the basis for valid and reliable assessment in senior secondary schools
involve the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies and colleges in cooperation and partnership
maintain the quality of school-based assessment and the credibility, validity and acceptability of Board certificates
Moderation commences within individual colleges. Teachers develop assessment programs and instruments, apply assessment criteria, and allocate Unit Grades, according to the relevant Course Framework. Teachers within course teaching groups conduct consensus discussions to moderate marking or grading of individual assessment instruments and unit grade decisions.
The Moderation Model
Moderation within the ACT encompasses structured, consensus-based peer review of Unit Grades for all accredited courses, as well as statistical moderation of course scores, including small group procedures, for T courses.
Moderation by Structured, Consensus-based Peer Review
Review is a subcategory of moderation, comprising the review of standards and the validation of Unit Grades. In the review process, Unit Grades, determined for Year 11 and Year 12 student assessment portfolios that have been assessed in schools by teachers under accredited courses, are moderated by peer review against system wide criteria and standards. This is done by matching student performance with the criteria and standards outlined in the unit grade descriptors as stated in the Course Framework. Advice is then given to colleges to assist teachers with, and/or reassure them on, their judgments.
Preparation for Structured, Consensus-based Peer Review
Each year, teachers teaching a Year 11 class are asked to retain originals or copies of student work completed in Semester 2. Similarly, teachers teaching a Year 12 class should retain originals or copies of student work completed in Semester 1. Colleges not on a semester structure will negotiate with BSSS on work required. Assessment and other documentation required by the Office of the BSSS should also be kept. Year 11 work from Semester 2 of the previous year is presented for review at Moderation Day 1 in March, and Year 12 work from Semester 1 is presented for review at Moderation Day 2 in August.
In the lead up to Moderation Day, a College Course Presentation (comprised of a document folder and a set of student portfolios) is prepared for each A and T course offered by the school, and is sent in to the Office of the BSSS.
The College Course Presentation
The package of materials (College Course Presentation) presented by a college for review on moderation days in each course area will comprise the following:
a folder containing supporting documentation as requested by the Office of the Board through memoranda to colleges
a set of student portfolios containing marked and/or graded written and non-written assessment responses and completed criteria and standards feedback forms. Evidence of all assessment responses on which the unit grade decision has been made is to be included in the student review portfolios. Specific requirements for subject areas and types of evidence to be presented for each moderation day will be outlined by the Office of the BSSS through memoranda and Information Papers