National Moderator's Reports

Feb 2020

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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 Technology standards in 2019.

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


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.

‘Fitness for purpose in the broadest sense’ is a major step up in Level 3 technological practice standards. Successful student responses only considered issues that were meaningful in their design. These students considered broadest sense issues throughout the entire design development stage, rather than in an evaluation at the end of process. Where students were guided to use concise and relevant information, they were better prepared to demonstrate Excellence.

In skills-based standards, evidence at Excellence demonstrated implementation of complex procedures and their ability to work independently, accurately and economically for a sustained period of the project work. Where assessors provided evidence from observations and attested the student grade at Excellence assessment decisions were generally reliable.

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.

Many students are being encouraged to use a variety of evidence, such as relevant text, annotated photographs, and/or audio/video evidence which strengthens the final outcomes. It is preferred that the length of either audio or video is limited to 1.5 minutes. This approach can significantly lower the volume of written evidence.

Some schools have started using e-portfolios or online website-based submissions for the collection of evidence for Generic Technology Standards.

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.

Students can reduce the volume of evidence in Technology by ensuring that they only present information that is relevant. For example, collated results of research, stakeholder feedback and testing, rather than large volumes of collected research and stakeholder surveys.

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

Selection of techniques/procedures

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For standards that require students to select techniques/procedures, the best results are achieved when either research or trialling enables them to make informed choices. For example, in resistant materials the student might research or trial different welding methods and select the most suitable. In textiles the student might research or trial different ways of doing a welt pocket and select the most suitable.

Conceptual design Technology standards

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Large volumes of research and stakeholder feedback are not required for this standard.

The conceptual design could focus on a smaller part of a large project. The volume of evidence could be further reduced by focusing on, for example, the braking system for a e-velocity vehicle, one garment from an ensemble, or one dish from a restaurant menu.

Students do well in these standards when they summarise the relevant research and stakeholder feedback, clearly showing how this has informed the development of the design.  Evidence at the higher grades often has research, stakeholder feedback and fitness for purpose indicators integrated throughout the submission.

Observations from 91620

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From 2020, the standard clarifies the requirement for trialling of techniques and an order of construction. The clarifications and assessment resources on TKI have been updated to reflect these changes.

Students who do well in this standard have used informed selection of techniques for Achieved. They have a pre-planned order of construction with tests planned, for the precise integration of parts.

To manage workload for larger projects, students could focus on a significant part of the project, rather than trying to document the complete outcome. For example, a student could focus on the steering system for a go-cart and then document the precise integration of these parts.

Students who make projects where products are similar, may be disadvantaged in their ability to make an informed selection from the trialling of techniques.


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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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