National Moderator's Reports

Mar 2019

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The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internal History standards in 2018.

It does not clarify specific standards but provides further insights from moderation material viewed throughout the year.


Volume of Evidence Produced

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Some students produce an excessive volume of evidence. Students are not required to submit evidence beyond the criteria of the standard. It is appropriate for teachers to guide students to produce succinct evidence in response to the achievement criteria of the standard.

Consideration needs to be given by teachers to the quantity of evidence expected of students, not only at level 3 but also at levels 2 and 1. 

Guidelines concerning moderators’ expectations of the depth of evidence were provided in a newsletter in August 2016.

Limiting the scope of historical enquiries may be the most obvious way of helping to achieve this. For example, instead of a student looking at the whole of the Vietnam War or World War I, or the Gallipoli campaign, just one aspect might be analysed. Limiting the number of different perspectives that a student analyses may also help to reduce the volume of evidence produced.

Excellence at Level 3

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There is some inconsistency in awarding Excellence. When making assessor decisions regarding Excellence, consideration needs to be given to the overall quality of the evidence. This is critical when making a judgement at the Merit/Excellence boundary.

Aspects of evidence that help to indicate Excellence for the research standards are annotations and evaluations that indicate students’ ability to think as historians. Their evidence might consider, for example, the sufficiency and reliability of evidence and the extent to which it is corroborated.

When analysing historical events or different perspectives, analysis needs to include indication that the student can identify broad themes in the evidence and communicate those as key historical ideas rather than providing historical narrative. Weighing the sufficiency and reliability of evidence from a variety of different sources and reaching supported conclusions are further indicators of Excellence.

When a student’s own ‘historian’s voice’ comes through clearly, the evidence may be more likely to be at Excellence level.

Group Work

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Group work is an acceptable form of assessment, if appropriate to the standard. When submitting group work for moderation, the teacher needs to ensure there is evidence that each student has met the standard.

The contribution of each student can be tracked and presented in a variety of ways, such as written record of teacher observation, the division of workload into clearly defined tasks, a student worklog or video diary, recordings of teacher/student conferences, etc.

Group work may be appropriate when students are locating evidence to be used for standards other than each level’s research standard.

Integrated Assessment of Standards

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This refers to assessing multiple standards via one submission of student evidence. The assessment of standards may be integrated either within a subject or across subjects.

For external moderation, if the assessment is across subjects and the student evidence is physical, it can be sent on to the next subject moderator/s if required. If it is an online submission, the student evidence can be uploaded for each standard being moderated.

There is considerable overlap in the skills required for the analysis of historical events and the analysis of different perspectives. If a student selects an historical event for analysis, that satisfies the requirements for both standards. If the analysis of the event includes analysis of people’s (which may include historians’) different interpretations of what happened, that will also be satisfying the needs of both standards. Therefore, by ensuring that the student also addresses the significance to New Zealanders of the historical event, one piece of evidence can be made to satisfy the requirements of two standards.

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