National Moderator's Reports

Feb 2020

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Download PDF: Mathematics and Statistics National Moderator's Report (PDF, 122KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internal Mathematics and Statistics standards in 2019.

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

Contents

Awarding Excellence

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When making judgement for Excellence, it needs to be ensured that all indicators of the Excellence criteria in the standard have been fully addressed. These are outlined in the Explanatory notes. The quality of evidence provided should also reflect the curriculum level. If the evidence demonstrates that the Excellence criteria have been only partially met, then the grade awarded cannot be Excellence. This is critical in distinguishing between high Merit and Excellence.

Consideration also needs to be given to the overall submission, such as succinctness and clarity.

In the Mathematics standards, solving problems at Excellence requires evidence of extended abstract thinking by communicating mathematical insight that conveys deep understanding in the solution of the problem.

In the Statistics standards, using the statistical enquiry cycle at Excellence requires evidence of the integration of statistical and relevant contextual knowledge throughout the entire investigation process.

Collecting evidence

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Opportunities are encouraged that allow students to collect evidence through different modes, such as blogs, video clips, etc. Such opportunities allow students to have agency on how best to demonstrate what they know.

In Mathematics and Statistics there are appropriate ways of gathering evidence. Flexibility is an important criterion if the opportunities provided are to enhance a variety of learning styles and teaching and learning contexts. Details of these methods and the conditions that need to be applied are provided in the Conditions of Assessment documents, which can be accessed from the Mathematics and Statistics homepage.

 

Student wellbeing

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Where students are guided in how to present their evidence succinctly, the quality of their responses improves.  When students are aware of the concept that quantity is not an indicator of quality, this also helps to reduce workload pressures.

In terms of student wellbeing, it is also timely to consider the importance of positive contexts and guidance regarding potentially ‘dark themes’ or inappropriate material. While the need for self-expression and realism is not disputed, the mental and physical wellbeing of students in their learning and assessment should be a significant consideration in programmes.

Evidence of inappropriate material is seen relatively rarely in Mathematics and Statistics moderation. However, assessors do need to consider the suitability of assessment contexts prior to the assessment taking place.

Assessor Support

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The Best Practice Workshops (online and face-to-face) offered by the Assessment and Moderation Team continue to be viewed by the sector as significantly contributing to improved assessor practice:

"The workshop helped to review my own knowledge, and great to share ideas."

"It was great having time to challenge my thinking in assessment."

Based on the success of the ‘on request’ model and the ability to have targeted support, the Assessment and Moderation Team will continue delivering this support model in 2020. Workshops or presentation slots can be requested to provide targeted support to regional or national audiences.

Additionally, we will continue to run the generic Transforming Assessment Praxis Programme, an online programme which helps assessors learn about re-contextualising assessment resources and collecting evidence in different ways to better meet the needs of their learners.

More detailed information, including how to request or register for a workshop, can be found on our Best Practice Workshop pages or by emailing workshops@nzqa.govt.nz.

There continues to be a demand for workshops in Mathematics and Statistics. In 2019, we were focused on responding to both school and regional requests for workshops on a variety of mathematics and statistics standards. In 2020, we look forward to continuing to develop ways to respond to sector needs.

Communication and context

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In all of the Mathematics and Statistics standards there are requirements around communication at all levels of achievement.

For the Mathematics standards, students need to demonstrate that their thinking is consistent with the requirements for each level of achievement.

For the Statistics standards, there needs to be evidence of appropriate levels of communication throughout the investigation process. Merit, for example, involves linking components of the statistical enquiry cycle to the context. It is therefore important that the students are familiar with the context of the assessment prior to the assessment taking place. This will mean students are better prepared, and are able to develop the contextual knowledge that will allow them to have a clearer understanding of the variable(s) they are investigating. This process will assist students to attain higher levels of achievement.

Sample to population inference

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Successful student outcomes for 91035, 91264 and 91582 all involve students using sample data to make a conclusion about the population.

Students who are provided with an accurate description of the population are more likely to achieve. An understanding of the population that the sample comes from needs to be evident in the student response.

Students achieve successful outcomes when they complete all aspects of the statistical enquiry cycle and when there is a link between the appropriately posed question about the population being investigated and the specific analysis occurring at each level.

Students demonstrate understanding when their comments discussing the sample distributions are linked to the posed questions and are used to make an inference and a conclusion about the population. An understanding of the uncertainty of the inference and conclusion is essential.

Observations from 91036

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In this standard, students who achieve success are able to provide sufficient detail in their plan. This includes an explanation of how the variables they are investigating are being measured and a discussion of the decisions that they will make to ensure consistency and manage sources of variation during the data collection process.

Communications

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Outcome statements in external moderation reports

In 2017, moderation report outcome statements changed from ‘Confidence’ statements to ‘Consistency’ statements, as explained in an NZQA Circular at the time.

The previous FOUR ‘Confidence’ statements were changed to THREE Consistency statements. This reduction in the number of categories of statement has, in some cases, resulted in moderation report outcomes previously noted as ‘Confident’ now being noted as ‘Not Yet Consistent’.

It is important to recognise that ‘Not Yet Consistent’ does not imply major issues on the part of the assessor, but that the aspects highlighted can be easily addressed through the advice given in the report.

 
 
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