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This newsletter gives information about the following topics:
- Legal Studies courses
- Teaching and Learning Guidelines
- Assessment Resources
- Assessment Schedules
- Further Assessment Opportunities
- Teacher Selected Samples for Moderation
- Changes from September 2009
- Review of Standards
Legal Studies is one of the subjects being assessed by unit standards only. For Legal Studies teachers, these standards provide an assessment regime for a robust, academic, and useful Legal Studies course.
The Legal Studies Teaching and Learning Guide is available on the Ministry of Education TKI website. The guide has been designed to help teachers create a quality teaching and learning programme in Legal Studies. It has been written to address both the current and future assessment regimes for Legal Studies. Currently assessment is only available for levels 7 and 8, but the guide indicates how level 6 could be developed.
When creating your own assessment resources or using commercial resources the critical aspect to consider before using for assessment is that the task is valid and assesses all the elements and performance criteria. Alongside tasks that assess the unit standard teachers also need to develop appropriate assessment schedules.
There are two aspects of an assessment schedule that makes it valuable as a guide for marking and judging the quality of student work. These two things are required for each of the achievement criterion of the standard:
a judgement statement that indicates the general quality of the answer expected (e.g. a detailed explanation, a comprehensive description), or the quantity of evidence required in order to meet the level of performance expected (e.g. three courses of action, four viewpoints). These requirements often reflect the wording of the achievement criteria and/or explanatory notes of the standard.
Evidence statements that outline or list the type and range of content (the information) expected in answers that would reflect the task set.
The assessment schedule should be used as a marking guide, but ultimately the work should be judged against requirements of the standard.
A key feature of school-based internal assessment is that further opportunity to be assessed can be provided for students who initially fail to achieve their potential at any level. The rules around further assessment opportunities and resubmission can be found at: Assessment and Examination Rules and Procedures.
Teachers have the opportunity to send samples of student work of their own choice, and to ask of the moderator specific questions relating to the judgements made.
The number of samples of student work for optional teacher-selected evidence has been increased. Teachers may now send up to ten samples per standard per year.
The samples for optional evidence feedback can relate to any standard, not just the standard selected for external moderation.
The samples can be sent at any time throughout the year (through Secondary Moderation, NZQA), not just at the time of the school submission date (directly to moderator).
The samples do not have to be accompanied by other assessment materials unless the teacher believes they would assist the moderator in understanding their question.
There is no specific turnaround time for samples sent outside the school submission date as this will depend on moderator capacity.
Specific questions can be asked about the samples to help further clarify issues in the assessment of that work. The feedback provided from the moderator does not form part of the official moderation report and is designed to be more developmental in nature. Teachers are encouraged to take this opportunity to engage in professional dialogue to further refine their assessment decisions.
NZQA have advised that a standards review for Legal Studies will occur in 2011.