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A Day in the Life of a National Assessment Facilitator
We often get asked what an average day is like for a National Assessment Facilitator, to which the only answer is – there is no such thing as an average day!
So, to give you an insight into the role, our current National Assessment Facilitators describe a “day in the life of…….”
Eng Lim Lawrey:
My day started with a planning session for training new examination-setters. This was followed by critiquing a draft examination in the light of feedback from subject experts.
I met with members from a cross-division group in a reporting session on some work we have undertaken as part of NZQA’s ‘Future State’ programme.
Late in the afternoon, I met with a couple of examination writers to plan for next year’s examinations. Meetings with teachers enable me to keep in touch with current school practices, and have the professional discussions to improve assessment outcomes for candidates.
A good part of my day was spent at the Wellington Airport Conference Centre, training new Panel Leaders. It was invigorating to work with others who want to get the assessments fair and valid for the candidates.
Once I got back to the office in the latter part of the afternoon, I checked the documentation describing the procedures and functions for markers to enter the results of marking on the web at the end of the year. I also answered queries emailed to NZQA from students and teachers, and planning for next year’s examinations with some of my colleagues.
My day was really busy! Overnight we released the online assessment schedule for a level 1 Common Assessment Task. A great many teachers have phoned and emailed to ask where it can be found, and what its password is (it has none). Many have also contacted me for specific advice on the marking, but I forwarded these queries to the relevant subject expert.
Meanwhile, I was in contact with exam setting contractors for another subject, arranging the details of an early planning meeting for next year’s exam. Several exam markers emailed me asking for pre-approval to claim for travel to this year’s marking panels. I also signed off an exam paper to be sent for printing. This is a key moment, as no further editing is possible, and the paper must be in the best possible shape. We can sometimes be working on two years’ exam papers at the same time.
Arriving at work, I looked over each of the standards that I am responsible for to check that all markers have been given an appropriate allocation of examinations booklets to assess.
I discussed changes made to a Scholarship examination paper with the Editor and looked at the feasibility of placing the paper onto the electronic shared workspace so the Materials Critique could give feedback to the Examiner.
I worked with an assessment expert from a Pacific nation who we are hosting at NZQA. We discussed how power point material for examination setting could be adapted to meet the needs of the Pacific nation’s contractors.
Finally, I had discussions with an Operations Officer about contractor flights and accommodation for the end of year marking round.
A day in the office, for me, is being organised with a clear vision as to what is over the horizon. I was reminded that I carried all kaupapa Māori papers until the new National Assessment Facilitator was appointed. Te Reo Rangatira and Te Reo Māori exam papers progressed through the process quite quickly, with sign off.
The other portfolios I am responsible for needed my attention, Latin exam papers were approved for final print and signed off.
Te Mātākura is a project that involves the development of assessment resources to exemplify the new externally assessed achievement standards for level 2 and 3 Te Reo Rangatira. Working with other Government agencies challenged me to “mahitahi’ to “noho whakaiti”, however the development of my Resource Writer work spoke volumes.
This project has focussed on Level 3 resources in 2015.
Finally, approval for the Translations and Interpretations process was signed off. I am so grateful to the Operations Officer who worked well with my predecessors to ensure processes and procedures were in place.
Koinei tōku paepae! Piki mai kake mai!