School Moderation Program
Each year, the assessment and grading practices in particular courses at selected schools are reviewed. The purpose of the Authority’s moderation activities is to ensure that the school:
- is appropriately delivering the current syllabus
- is correctly implementing the authority’s assessment requirements and grading procedures
- has marking standards that align with state-wide standards
- has grades that are comparable with state-wide standards for the course.
School moderation is scheduled where a school is introducing or reintroducing a course, if requested by the school principal, or where evidence suggests to the Authority an assessment issue may exist in a particular course at a school. Schools are provided with at least three weeks notice in writing.
School moderation can take the form of:
- a documentation review, or
- a grading review.
A moderation review can involve either a school visit by an Authority officer or, where this is not viable, through the school sending materials to the Authority for review.
For a documentation review, the school is required to make available the following materials:
- the course outline (or teaching and learning program)
- the assessment outline for the current unit (or pair of units )
- student assessment records for the class or classes (i.e. the marks book) up to the time of the review
- the assessment tasks conducted up to the time of the review and any developed for use later in the year
- the marking keys for assessment tasks conducted up to the time of the review and any developed for use later in the year
- an internal comparability plan (if there is more than one teacher of the course at the stage)
- a small group moderation plan (if the school is in a small group moderation partnership for the course).
For a grading review, the following additional materials are required together with the materials for a documentation review:
- a ranked list of students based on total marks up to the time of the review
- a proposed grade distribution for the unit/s (i.e. the anticipated number and percentage of students at each grade up to the time of the review
- a set of assessment files containing all marked tasks completed by students either side of each grade cut-off point.
Further description of each of the materials required for school moderation is provided in Section 3.4 of the WACE Manual 2017.
At the conclusion of the school moderation process, feedback is provided as a written report. The report is provided to the principal. Where documentation does not meet the syllabus and/or Authority's assessment requirements, the issues are documented in an action sheet. The school is required to ensure the required action is completed and may be required to submit amended or additional documents.
For a grading review, the proposed grade distribution is accepted or the upward/downward movement of one or more grade cut-offs is recommended. Recommended changes need to be reflected in the grades submitted to the Authority or a justification provided at the time of submission.