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School assessment and moderation

School assessments are those that are set and carried out by schools, in accordance with subject outlines. As teachers, you are supported in your assessment role by the moderation process.

What is moderation?

Moderation of student work confirms your interpretation of the performance standards before your students receive their final subject grades.

During moderation, samples of student work are reviewed to ensure that your assessment decisions are consistent with the performance standards for the subject. 

After moderation, schools receive feedback either confirming students' grades or recommending adjustments. You can use moderation feedback when assessing subsequent tasks and to update students' final results before they are submitted to the SACE Board. This ensures that students' final results are consistent and fair.

The SACE Board checks that the final results submitted by schools reflect the feedback from moderation.

After results are released, the SACE Board provides quantitative and qualitative data on the outcome of moderation to all schools. Schools use this data to improve their planning for the following year.

More detailed procedures and guidelines are available in the Stage 2 moderation overview and the Stage 2 moderation feedback - FAQs for teachers.

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Stage 1 moderation

Stage 1 moderation confirms that students have met the compulsory Stage 1 requirements of the SACE.

Stage 1 English and mathematics subjects and the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) are moderated. For most schools, only the C and D grades are moderated, as a C grade is the minimum grade required for these subjects.

Stage 1 moderation takes place each semester towards the end of the teaching and learning program.

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Stage 2 moderation and sample selection

Stage 2 moderation confirms your interpretation of the performance standards in the school-assessed component of all Stage 2 subjects before students receive their final subject grades.

In each Stage 2 subject, you will select the sample of students whose school assessment work is to be submitted for final moderation.

Moderation occurs at the end of Semester 1 for Stage 2 Research Project and at the end of Semester 2 for all Stage 2 subjects.

How to select your Stage 2 moderation sample in Schools Online

Teachers select Stage 2 moderation samples for school assessed materials.

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FAQs

School selection of moderation samples

Why do schools select the moderation sample?

The SACE Board recognises that the core responsibility for quality school assessment rests with schools. Teachers are best placed to record final results, select samples for moderation, and ensure that the samples provided are a more reliable representation of the teacher's assessment decisions. This reduces the need for teachers to submit Form 27: Variations -moderation materials, which alerts the moderation panel to variations (such as missing student materials, a breach of rules, or the granting of special provisions).

Who selects the moderation sample?

All teachers of Stage 2 subjects, with the exception of modified subjects, select their Stage 2 moderation samples.

Will the SACE Board be selecting moderation samples?

The initial moderation sample will be selected by schools. However, the SACE Board reserves the right to request additional moderation samples at any time before the release of results.

The SACE Board may invite schools to submit one or more additional moderation samples during the moderation period. School assessment materials for students who are not included in the moderation sample should be readily accessible throughout this period.

Schools are only invited to submit additional moderation samples when the moderation panel for a Stage 2 subject is recommending an adjustment to results at a specific grade level and there are five or more students with a result at that grade level. Schools may accept or decline the invitation. The SACE Board would only expect schools to accept the invitation if the teacher(s) is confident that an alternative sample would provide better evidence of achievement at the grade level in question than the original sample provided.

Roles and responsibilities

What is the teacher's responsibility during sample selection?

The teacher is responsible for using the sample selection parameters to select and record the moderation sample on the school assessment results sheet in Schools Online before submitting materials to the principal or the principal's delegate.

What is the principal's responsibility during sample selection?

The principal or the principal's delegate must ensure the integrity of the results and the sample that has been selected for moderation.

Does each teacher in a combined assessment group need to provide a moderation sample?

Where a combined assessment group has been formed, it is not necessary for student work from each teacher to be submitted, provided all grade levels are represented in accordance with the sample selection parameters. The moderation sample selected should be agreed on by all teachers within the assessment group.

Schools with a combined assessment group are expected to establish processes early to ensure consistent understanding and application of the performance standards.

Sample considerations

What are the sample selection parameters? (Which samples should I choose?)

For each assessment type in the school assessment component, you must select:

  • the work of all students who are awarded a result of A+ (or OA for Community Studies)
  • the work of one student for each grade level awarded (i.e. A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, E+, E, E-).

Please note that for each Stage 2 Community Studies subject code you must select the work of:

  • all students who are awarded a result of OA
  • one student for each grade level awarded (e.g. A, B, C, D, E).
If you have not awarded a particular grade to any students, a sample of student work at that grade level is not required (e.g. if no B+ result is given, student work at the B+ level is not required).

When can I choose my sample?

You can choose your sample before the school assessment results sheet is made available in Schools Online, and then record the sample you have chosen once the result sheet is available. The sample should be selected after students have completed all assessments in the assessment type.

What is the Stage 2 School Assessment Results Sheet Moderation Sample(s) report?

The report lists the student's work that will be submitted for final moderation.

Teachers record the final results and the sample they have selected on the school assessment results sheet. As soon as the results and sample have been recorded, a Stage 2 School Assessment Results Sheet Moderation Samples report can be generated. The report is to be included with the hard copy materials for final moderation.

This report is not required for online submission subjects.

Can I submit my results sheet without indicating the samples I have selected?

No. Before the results sheet can be submitted to the principal's delegate, Schools Online will check and determine if the sample recorded meets the sample selection parameters.

Are Stage 2 Community Studies teachers expected to select their Stage 2 moderation sample?

Yes. For each Stage 2 Community Studies subject code, you must select:

  • the work of all students who are awarded a result OA
  • the work of one student for each grade level awarded (i.e. A, B, C, D, E).

How many samples should be provided?

For each assessment type, all A+ samples and the work of one student for each grade level are selected. Therefore, the number of samples will depend on the grade levels represented in the assessment group.

I can choose between several samples at a particular grade level. Which sample should I choose?

You should choose moderation samples that are 'typical', in that they accurately reflect their assessment decisions. Where a student's work is 'atypical', you should, where possible, select another student for the sample whose work more reliably demonstrates achievement at the particular grade level.

The following table is designed to support you in identifying 'typical' student work for moderation purposes:

Features of typical student work Features of atypical student work
  • it is complete
  • it is consistent and reliably assessed
  • you are confident about the final result awarded according to the performance standards.
  • a substantial part is incomplete
  • it is inconsistent and/or difficult to assess
  • a part has been misplaced
  • penalties for breaches of rules have been applied to the student's final result
  • special provisions have been applied to the student's assessment conditions.

Do I need to select the same student as the sample for all assessment types?

You may wish to select different students in their sample for each assessment type. Only the student work that relates to that type needs to be submitted.

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