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Coordinating the SACE Stage 1 moderation

In Stage 1 subjects, student work is assessed entirely by the school. To make sure that students' work is marked consistently no matter where they attend school, the subjects that students study to meet the compulsory requirements of the SACE are moderated.

Moderation is part of the confirming phase of the quality assurance cycle. Learn more about the quality assurance cycle, including your roles and responsibilities.

Use the list of Stage 1 key dates to plan your year.

The information on this page applies to South Australian and SACE International schools. Northern Territory schools will receive information about Stage 1 moderation from the NT Department of Education.

Purpose

Moderation at Stage 1:

  • confirms that students have met the compulsory Stage 1 requirements of the SACE.
  • ensures that the performance standards in Stage 1 English and mathematics subjects and the PLP have been applied consistently
  • ensures that school-assessed results awarded to students across all schools are comparable
  • provides valid and fair school assessment results for students.

Which subjects are moderated at Stage 1?

Subjects that meet the compulsory requirements of the SACE are moderated: 

Subject name Code

Personal Learning Plan

PLP
English

ESH 

Essential English

ETE

English as an Additional Language

EAL 

Mathematics

MAM 

General Mathematics MGM
Essential Mathematics MEM
From 2021, the SACE Board will only require submission of evidence against the C and D grade bands. We no longer require evidence against C* and D* achievements.For most schools, only the C and D grades are moderated, as a C grade is the minimum grade required for these subjects.

Operating principles

The following operating principles underpin the moderation procedures for SACE subjects at Stage 1:

Achievement order

Moderation decisions maintain the order of student achievement in the school assessment.

Consistency

Moderation feedback supports schools to ensure that students' results in Stage 1 English and mathematics subjects and the Personal Learning Plan are consistent with the statewide interpretation and application of the performance standards.

Fairness

A student is neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by having their work included in the sample submitted for moderation.

Interdependence and responsibility

The procedures for assuring the integrity of SACE assessments are based on the interconnected and complementary responsibilities of the students, the teacher, school leaders, and the SACE Board in the assessment process.

Sampling

Moderation is based on evidence provided in a sample of student work from the school.

Transparency

The procedures for assuring the integrity of SACE assessments are explicit and open to scrutiny.

Validity

Moderation seeks to confirm the school's assessment decisions about student achievement, based on the assumption that the learning requirements, assessment design criteria, and specifications of the subject outline have been followed and that the performance standards have been interpreted consistently.

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Forms and supporting documents

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Definitions

Assessment types - subject outlines specify different types of assessments that students are to undertake. An assessment type may comprise one or more tasks.

Student sample - the total work of one student, completed according to the approved learning and assessment plan and marked by the teacher according to the performance standards. This work should be uploaded as a single file (excluding multimedia). The student sample might not include the final task.

Grade band - the five bands of achievement described in the performance standards: A, B, C, D, and E.

Moderation sample - up to 6 student samples selected by a school to represent the school's assessment decisions at the C and D grades. It also includes:

Teacher pack - a combined document which includes a copy of:

  • learning and assessment plan(s)
  • assessment task sheets
  • relevant supporting materials, e.g. answer guides, mark schemes, rubrics, specific features of the assessment design criteria, solutions for skills and applications tasks (for mathematics subjects).

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Schedule

Stage 1 moderation is conducted on a school-by-school basis. Schools will be notified of the schedule. 

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Participation

Schools who are requested to participate in Stage 1 moderation

Schools participate in moderation for Stage 1 PLP and the Stage 1 English and mathematics subjects offered by the school until their results are confirmed for two consecutive years. Where results have been confirmed in an English or mathematics subject or the PLP in two consecutive years (e.g. 2019 and 2020) schools move to a longer moderation cycle for that subject (i.e. once every three years). 

Schools are notified by askSACE in February of the subjects required for moderation that year. 

Schools who are not requested to participate in Stage 1 moderation

Schools who have moved to the longer moderation cycle should have processes in place to ensure that students’ results in the subject(s) reflect the state-wide interpretation and application of the performance standards. 

Schools may also request moderation for an additional English or mathematics subject or the PLP if they require support to confirm the C grade due to significant changes in staffing or in the learning and assessment program. 

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The SACE Board's responsibilities

Pre-moderation

The SACE Board:

  • appoints a SACE Officer to lead and support the moderation process for each Stage 1 English and mathematics subject and the Personal Learning Plan
  • asks schools to nominate teacher(s) to act as moderators.

During moderation

The SACE Board:

  • ensures that moderators and supervisors are not allocated to moderate/supervise: their own school, or schools with whom they have an association or a conflict of interest.
  • trains moderators/supervisors in the moderation/supervision procedures
  • requires all assessment panel members to declare any potential conflicts of interest
  • requires all assessment panel members to maintain confidentiality throughout and after the moderation process in accordance with the SACE Board's Code of Conduct
  • ensures the security of the school and student results, information, and materials.

After moderation

The SACE Board:

  • sends the information from the Stage 1 moderation feedback form to schools
  • advises principals of the outcome of the moderation process.

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The SACE Officer's responsibilities

Before and during moderation

The SACE Officer:

  • leads  and oversees the moderation process
  • develops benchmarking course in PLATO before moderation begins using common sets of student materials for each subject and training moderators to use evidence of learning in student materials to support assessment decisions
  • ensures that moderators and supervisors apply the performance standards consistently throughout the moderation process
  • monitors moderators' and supervisors' decisions
  • reviews moderators' and supervisors' decisions before adjustments are recommended
  • supervises the collection of potential examples of assessment tasks and student work to be used as future clarifying benchmark and support materials.

After moderation

The SACE Officer:

  • checks the feedback resulting from moderation and indicates it has been quality assured.

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Principals, SACE coordinators, and principals' delegate responsibilities

Principals have final responsibility for the Stage 1 moderation process. However, they may delegate this responsibility to another leader, such as a SACE Coordinator.

Pre-moderation

Principals:

  • approve school-developed and pre-approved LAPs that have been adapted
  • liaise with Schools Online operators and teachers of Stage 1 subjects that are to be moderated to ensure enrolment data is correct and entered by the enrolment due date
  • ensure that teachers are aware of the subject's moderation date and that they  plan their learning and assessment programs so that all tasks, or all except the final task, are marked and available for moderation by the due date
  • ensure their school submits moderation materials for each subject requested for moderation - irrespective of the number of classes for that subject in the school
  • ensure that results presented at moderation reflect the school's application of the performance standard by all teacher for the subject(s) to be moderated
  • oversee the process of uploading teacher packs and student samples to Kiteworks.

Nominating moderators

  • if requested by the SACE Board, nominates teacher(s) to act as moderators
  • ensures nominated teachers are aware of their nomination, agree to follow the 'Guidelines for moderators and supervisors' and are released to participate in moderation on the date(s) listed in the moderation schedule
  • may nominate additional moderators if they have teachers who would benefit from participating in Stage 1 moderation. These teachers are placed on a reserve list and are contacted by the SACE Board if required.

After moderation

Principals:

  • provide copies of the moderation feedback to all teachers of subjects that were moderated
  • ensure that feedback regarding any adjustments to students' results is actioned according to recommendations made through the moderation process.

Final results entered by teachers in Schools Online reflect the outcomes of moderation, or the confirming processes within the school for subjects that were not moderated by the SACE Board.

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Teachers' responsibilities

Pre-moderation

Teachers:

  • ensure that all tasks (or all pending completion of the final task) in the approved LAP are completed and marked before moderation materials are submitted
  • combine the result for each assessment type, considering weightings, to reach a final subject grade in the range A to E
  • enter student results for each student into Schools Online
  • identify students with results in the C and D grades

Preparing for moderation

Teachers:

  • select student samples that are representative of the school's interpretation and application (that of all teachers) of the performance standards in the subject.
Up to 3 samples - overall C grade
+
Up to 3 samples - overall D grade
 
maximum 6 samples
 

If there are no results in the C and D grades, schools should select student work from the adjacent grades for the moderation sample.

Teachers prepare:

  1. the student samples
  2. a teacher pack
  3. signed Stage 1 moderation sample form

Student samples include:

  • an entire marked set of student work (or pending completion of the final task)

The teacher pack includes:

  • the approved LAP
  • assessment task sheets
  • any associated guide for each task (e.g. marks scheme, rubric, specific features of the assessment design criteria, solutions for skills and applications tasks)

Signed Stage 1 moderation sample form

Teachers:

  • retain, or maintain access to, student evidence for the rest of the cohort for each subject that is being moderated, until the SACE Board has released Stage 1 results to students
  • check that correct naming conventions are used
  • provide the teacher pack and student samples to their SACE Coordinator or Principal to be uploaded to Kiteworks (the SACE Board's secure file transfer system)

Student work that is missing evidence due to special provisions, misplaced work, or failure to complete a task should not be included in the moderation sample.

After moderation

Teachers:

  • review feedback and guidelines for responding to Stage 1 moderation
  • ensure that students' final results reflect the outcome of moderation and of the confirming processes within the school (including those subjects that were not required for moderation by the SACE Board)

Teachers (in consultation with principals) may decide to use the following result codes, in addition to A-E grades, when reporting students' results to the SACE Board:

P - the result is pending. Students with result code P will not receive a result in that results period, and will have their enrolment rolled over to the next results period. P may be used for students who cannot be confirmed as achieving at least a C grade after moderation (or after confirming processes within the school).  Students with result code P are expected to provide additional evidence to achieve a C grade or better.

Students results can then be updated in Schools Online in the subsequent results period.

Opportunities to produce additional evidence should be documented on the addendum to the approved LAP.

N - There is insufficient evidence of learning to meet the E grade as described in the performance standards (i.e. no result). Students with result code N will not be awarded any credits.

W - The student has withdrawn from the subject. Students with result code W will not be awarded any credits.

Administrative errors in students' results may be corrected using a Change of results request form [PDF 115KB]. This form is not to be used to change pending results.

Schools incorporate feedback into their improving and planning processes.

Queries about moderation feedback or submitting final results should be directed to the SACE Board.

 

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Guidelines for moderators and supervisors

Moderators and supervisors: 

  • complete the following before they begin moderating/supervising: 
    • declare any conflicts of interest and sign a conflict of interest 
    • participate in online benchmarking activities 
    • participate in moderator or supervisor training 
  • participate in moderation/supervision for the duration of moderation for a subject, according to the SACE Board schedule. 
  • moderate/supervise according to the moderation procedures and the instructions from the SACE Officer 
  • identify potential support materials 
  • identify potential breaches of rules 
  • are not to moderate or supervise the work of students from the school at which they teach or with which they have a conflict of interest 
  • are not to contribute to discussion related to the moderation of any school at which they teach or with which they have a conflict of interest 
  • are not to access information related to the outcome of the moderation or supervision process for any school at which they teach or with which they have a conflict of interest. 
  • maintain confidentiality of information about students’ results and schools before, during, and after the moderation process 
  • familiarise themselves with the ICAC information. 
  • ensure the security of school and student results, information, and materials during and after the moderation process. 

Moderation process

Moderators and supervisors: 

  1. work independently in an online environment, such as Microsoft Teams
  2. are allocated moderation tasks to moderate by the SACE Officer
  3. follow the Stage 1 moderation: moderator workflow or the Stage 1 moderation: supervisor workflow
  4. use the Stage 1 moderation sample form [DOC 1.3MB] to check the  student sample and teacher pack for: 
    1. an overall subject grade (with an indication of how the result was determined) 
    2. an entire set of marked student work (or all work pending completion of the final task) 
    3. assessment task sheets and any associated guide for each task 
    4. a copy of the learning and assessment plan(s) (and addendum, if applicable)

If any material is missing, the moderator informs the SACE Officer who will determine how to proceed. 

        5. review the student sample according to the following information. 

The moderator/supervisor uses the moderation guidelines to review two C and two D student samples. If there are no C or D grade student samples, the moderator reviews student samples in adjacent grades (e.g. B and E grades). 

Examples of the evidence moderators/supervisors would expect to see when reviewing student sample: 
 

Student sample Student sample should contain
C student sample with similar respective weightings for the assessment types Evidence demonstrating specific features predominantly in the C grade band.
C student sample with significantly different respective weightings for the assessment types Evidence demonstrating, in the assessment type with the greatest weighting, specific features predominantly in the C grade band.


If the moderator/supervisor confirms the two student sample grade(s) they recommend that all grades in the moderation sample are consistent and confirmed. 

If the moderator/supervisor are unable to confirm or adjust a student sample grade(s), noting inconsistencies in the two samples they review one more student sample at that grade (if available) to make a recommendation based on the majority. For example, the third C sample is confirmed the overall grade is confirmed. If there is not a third student sample the moderator will confirm the grades assigned by the school. 

  1. Moderators indicate, on the electronic Stage 1 moderation sample form, which student samples were reviewed. 
  2. Moderators provide a recommendation to either confirm or adjust results. Moderators do not complete the electronic Stage 1 moderation feedback form.   
  3. Supervisors review the proposed recommendations to adjust results to ensure that they reflect the statewide interpretation and application of the performance standards. Any adjustments must be based on the substantive evidence viewed from the moderation sample, the performance standards, and the specifications of the relevant subject outline. 

    Supervisors either confirm or adjust results and complete the electronic Stage 1 moderation feedback form  
  4. SACE Officers quality assure the Stage 1 moderation outcomes and feedback form. 

Confirming results  

Results are confirmed when most student samples in the moderation sample demonstrate evidence of the assessment design criteria and associated specific features at the grade level(s) reported by the school. 

Adjusting results 

An adjustment from one grade band to another grade band (e.g. C to D) is made when most of the student samples in the moderation sample consistently demonstrate evidence of the assessment design criteria and associated specific features in a different grade band. Adjustments are not usually made on the basis of a single inconsistently assigned student sample grade. 

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Moderation feedback

The SACE Board:

  • sends the Stage 1 moderation feedback form to schools. The SACE Officer checks the feedback indicating that it has been quality assured
  • advises principals of the outcome of the moderation process

Schools and teachers:

  • carefully consider this feedback and use it to finalise grades by making sure that their final results are consistent with the grades recommended for the moderation sample.

 

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