Quality management of school-based assessments: moderation of teacher judgments

Quality management of school-based assessments: moderation of teacher judgments

School-based assessment offers many benefits over external tests and examinations. These benefits include attention to a greater range of important learning outcomes, greater integration of formative feedback for improvement, and generating a performance profile over time rather than on a single occasion. These fit with current understandings of human learning and with anticipated future demands on people and economies.

A critical issue is how to establish confidence in school-based assessments. Greater confidence, and therefore stronger quality management, is needed for higher stakes assessment.

A key component of successful school-based assessment is teacher expertise. Two kinds of expertise are involved: obtaining good information on student learning (using good assessment procedures); and making good judgments (applying relevant performance standards). In-service teacher education programs are essential and exemplars of good practice can be useful. Self-monitoring (quality assurance) processes can be useful. However, for high-stakes assessment, some form of external quality control (moderation processes) is essential.

This paper discusses various options for moderation processes and their advantages and disadvantages. Reference is made to Queensland’s three decades of experience with school-based assessment in secondary schools.


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  • July 21, 2018 Create Date
  • July 21, 2018 Last Updated