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Aligning a work sample to a grade – the moderation process

Aligning a work sample to a particular grade involves a judgement that the work sample is of a standard that would typically be produced by a student whose overall performance, on balance, best matches that grade description.

It is important to remember that a work sample does not necessarily need to demonstrate all the characteristics of performance at the grade level on any one activity. A work sample also need not be errorfree or to cover every aspect of the task in order to be aligned to grade A. You simply need to be satisfied that it is of a standard that would be produced by a student performing, overall, at grade A level.

Process

1. Preparation: developing a common understanding

  1. Read the grade descriptions from the Common Grade Scale for Preliminary Courses and picture the types of knowledge, skills and understanding in the subject area that students at each of the grade levels typically demonstrate.
  2. Make notes under each grade description (A to E) of what achievement at that level would look like for the relevant subject and year.
  3. Discuss the notes you have made with colleagues and clarify ideas about achievement at each level.

2. The Task and Marking Criteria:

  1. Read the assessment task and marking criteria and consider what the assessment task asks students to do and the context of the task.
  2. Think about and discuss how students working at each of the grade levels would respond to the task, and the types of work they would produce at the end of the year.

3. Grade Work Samples:

  1. Read the work sample and decide whether it looks like it would have been produced by a student working at the A, B, C, D or E level at the end of the course.
  2. Record your judgement and reasons for aligning the work sample to the grade you have selected on the work sample. When writing your comments, refer to the ‘writing a grade commentary’ guidelines below and include specific aspects of the work sample and ways the student could improve.
  3. Discuss your judgement with others in your group and come to a consensus on a grade.
  4. Record your grade and the consensus grade and move to the next work sample.
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