Showing posts with label moderation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moderation. Show all posts

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Moderation - advice for new players.

Moderation is the local equivalent of peer assessment at a teacher level. If your class is small (less than 12), it is assumed that it is too difficult to give fair grades thus you need to find other small schools to check your grades against. If you are having trouble locating a group tell your HoD/TiC then contact the curriculum council.

Moderation sounds like a pain (and it is) but there is one major advantage. Generally, not always, when you do this you share assessment. This means that you may only need to write half (or a third/less depending on the number of schools involved in your group) of the assessment for the course. If your group has teachers that are organised it can create some great discussion and access to course materials that are often hard to find (such as investigations). Sometimes teachers are not organised, are difficult by nature or have a different opinion to you as to the content and difficulty level of assessment. When they are a combination of these you end up with conflict. Especially if assessment is given late and other participants do not have time to check the difficulty level and breadth of assessment. This is reasonably rare and you can always decline letting them into your next small group. It's in nobody's interest to have a slacker in your group. If you are the slacker for a good reason (such as sickness at home or an unrealistic load at school) then make sure you nurture a good relationship with the rest of the group. Don't let the resentment fester.

If you are terrible at investigations (I own up to this one, I rarely get the difficulty level right), then ask for a later investigation in the year and start now, using your mentor teacher as a guide for where to go with the project. Hunt around for one that hasn't been done for a few years at your school. There are some fantastic investigations being dreamed up at the moment as teachers are finally finding that they have more time with courses bedding down.

Last but not least are the technical issues. Sort out whether you are running concurrent or sequential. Ensure that you know what the weightings are for each assessment and where the marks are coming from (take home and/or validation). Check if notes or calculators are allowed in each assessment. Send your marks to all members of your group and check where your students lie - this will change your approach during semester. Agree on grade cutoffs for semester 1 well before the end of term 3.

Have Fun.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Curriculum Council Moderation

Here are words that inspire fear in the most confident graduate teacher - "Moderation". We had ours and the one thing it showed was the need for experienced teachers to guide the less experienced teacher. Our most experienced teacher took the work of students, repackaged it to make it easy to be viewed and removed much of the stress.

I'm not saying that moderation was not stressful - the idea of redressing issues 3 weeks before the end of a course kept me up at night for a number of days. When it happened though, it was great to have recognised that the grading given was correct and also be given ideas about how to improve the course.

In my non-TEE course I now understand that they like to see context heavily developed into the course - coursework specially developed for the cohort. If this can be demonstrated in assignment pieces this can be a good thing.

Another insight was that moderators look at the intake as well as the results especially in TEE courses - to check if the students selected for courses has been done appropriately. It was interesting to hear of restrictions placed on student subject selection in other schools to (I imagine) protect school TEE rankings and student self esteem. As schools reduce the number of subjects on offer and students have reduced options, I wonder if we will see more issues in this area.

Our moderator liked to see cognitive type assessment. I shall seek out some more of this sort of thing (to be honest I have no idea what they are (isn't an investigation typically cognitive?) - but will ask around).

It shouldn't be underestimated the time it takes to prepare for moderation and the disruption it causes to other classes. I strongly suggest for portfolios of all assessment to be gathered and kept for all students in a class by the teacher. If you don't have these pre-done, prepare a couple of each for moderation or you may have your D turn into a C and have to find another portfolio at the last minute to fill the gap (...I wonder how I know this??).

Keeping portfolios from students is detrimental to test preparation (as you have the portfolios rather than students for study) but is far preferable than trying to gather materials in the lead up to moderation dates (especially as for us they fell just before the start of TEE mock exam preparation). After moderation dates portfolios can also be a great study tool for exams that careless students wouldn't have at the end of the year.