Moderation activities are used by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority to help ensure the comparability of school marks and grades between schools. Comparability occurs when the same result in the same pair of units has the same value across the cohort of students enrolled in the Western Australian courses. This helps to ensure fairness of marking and grading for students and maintains the credibility of school marks and grades. Establishing comparability for school marks and grades across schools requires the Authority to:
- provide syllabus documents that clearly indicate the knowledge, skills and understandings that should be taught state-wide
- develop assessment requirements that schools must follow in terms of assessment types and weightings
- ensure teachers have a common understanding of the standards to be applied when assigning grades
- statistically adjust school marks for ATAR Year 12 pairs of units based on the performance of students in the ATAR course examinations.
The purpose of the Authority’s moderation activities is to ensure that each 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.
Moderation activities can take the form of a syllabus delivery audit, consensus moderation, documentation reviews, and grading reviews. Participation by schools in these moderation activities is compulsory.