Digital Assessment: Digital Moderation

Each year secondary schools and TEOs internally assess standards which are quality assured through internal moderation systems and subsequent external moderation by NZQA. Educational organisations have indicated a readiness to undertake this process online - many were ready to submit materials for external moderation by email in 2014, and by URL in 2015 – and NZQA is responding to this need by establishing a Digital Moderation project.

This project is looking at how we can better provide moderation services to meet changing assessor needs. The focus of this includes:

  • making external moderation findings more relevant to assessors

  • providing a tool for use by assessors to support their own internal moderation practices, and

  • improving the timeliness and usability of external moderation findings.

It is intended that the new tool and associated processes will be delivered in December 2016, ready for use from 2017.

This work supports other projects within the Future State programme to modernise and digitise a number of the functions that NZQA administers.

See our Frequently Asked Questions and the  digital moderation factsheet (PDF, 120KB) for more information about the project.

A series of factsheets have also been developed to outline each stage of the project's developments:

  1. Digital Moderation: changes to national external moderation, September 2016 (PDF, 244KB)
  2. Digital Moderation: assessment and moderation plans, September 2016 (PDF, 80KB)

2016 work programme

NZQA has completed work to identify opportunities to improve moderation services. The focus has been on how we can better support teachers’ and tutors’ assessment practices through making our moderation services more relevant and timely.

More recently, NZQA has been seeking our customer’s views on the proposed changes to moderation. As part of this, a discussion paper was released in March, detailing:

  • how we can move to full online external moderation

  • proposed changes to policies and processes to make external moderation more relevant and timely

  • proposed changes to online submission of material for external moderation

  • developing a web-based tool that can assist schools and tertiary education organisations with making assessment decisions.

To support this, feedback workshops were held with assessors in secondary schools and Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) in April to give interested people a closer look how the new tool might work, and get feedback on what would best meet the needs of assessors.

Consultation outcomes

The key learnings from the consultation include the following.

  • Learners are increasingly producing materials digitally, and the pace of the move to digital is picking up year-on-year.

  • Schools want more say in the choice of standards for moderation.

  • A change to make it easier to appeal or seek clarification of a moderation report is welcomed, and we’re likely to see more assessors doing this.

  • There was strong support for a proposal to enable direct contact between an assessor and a moderator when seeking clarification.

  • Educational organisations want to be able to choose when to submit materials for moderation.

  • For schools, finding a verifier and the heavy workload associated with internal moderation remain the biggest challenges for assessors, and they would welcome a tool that helped address this.

For more information read the Digital Moderation Consultation Outcomes (PDF, 697KB) summary report.

Sector engagement

A Digital Moderation focus group has been established with representatives from different educational organisations across New Zealand to provide detailed feedback on specific proposals.

DM Focus Grp 030516 v2

The Digital Moderation Focus Group at their inaugural meeting on 3 May 2016

For more information email

Page last updated 27 October 2016

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