Assessment: moderation and validation procedure

Intent

Moderation and validation are processes designed to improve course and assessment design and practice and enhance student learning.

Moderation and validation processes must be:

a) consistent with the Assessment policy

b) conducted within the program quality assurance system

c) consistent with the principles of assessment and rules of evidence provisions of the Standards for National VET Regulator registered training organisations

d) compliant with the requirements of external professional bodies, regulation and legislation

Scope

  • Courses offered within all Higher Education coursework,
  • Vocational Education and Training programs, and
  • Foundation Studies

Exclusions

VCE and VCAL programs
The research component of higher degree by research programs

Procedure

1. Moderation of assessment

1.1 Moderation is a quality assurance process which maximises consistency, fairness, accuracy and reliability in assessment.

1.2 Moderation is the process of bringing assessment judgements and standards into alignment. It must ensure that the same standards are applied to all assessment results within the same course or unit(s) of competency, regardless of where and how they are delivered. It is an active process in the sense that adjustments to assessor judgements are made to overcome differences in the difficulty of the assessment tool and/or the severity of judgements.

1.3 Moderation of assessment can result in the adjustment of student marks. However, any such adjustment must be made before the script or the marks have been communicated to students.

Objectives

1.4 The objectives of this procedure are to ensure that:

a) planning for moderation is incorporated into the design and development of the overall assessment strategy and assessment activities

b) assessment processes are systematically moderated and reviewed in order to provide consistency, especially in relation to offerings on multiple campuses or modes of delivery

c) the characteristics of assessment are well defined and are aligned with program capabilities

d) appropriate and consistent grading standards apply across all classes within a course or unit of competency, across courses in a program, across sites, and across RMIT campuses. Students will have the same opportunity for a fair and accurate assessment regardless of who is marking or where the marking takes place

e) continuous improvement to assessment occurs through feedback to markers of the experience gained through moderation, allowing them better to align their grading standards to the marking scheme

1.5 Moderation of assessment should be carried out in accordance with the course assessment committee instructions.

Moderation instructions

1.6 Moderation will be carried out in accordance with the Moderation of assessment – higher education and vocational education and training instruction.

2. Validation of assessment

2.1 Validation is a process used to check that assessment tasks are aligned with and reflect course learning outcomes, that content (or unit descriptor for VET) and standards are set at an appropriate level, and that marks and grades are accurate and reflect the assessment criteria.

2.2 Validation of assessment involves reviewing, comparing and evaluating assessment processes, tools and evidence contributing to judgements made by a range of assessors against the same standards.

Intent

2.3 A systematic approach must be taken to validation of assessment. It will be incorporated into the design and development of the overall assessment strategy and activities. The process will be documented and analysed to facilitate future improvement to assessment.

2.4 Validation is a quality review process. It involves checking that the assessment tool produced valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the relevant aspects of the course or prescribed competency standards (in the case of VET) have been met. It includes reviewing and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes.

2.5 RMIT must validate its assessment strategies at least annually and document any action taken to improve the quality and consistency of assessment. Validation of assessment is an ongoing process which must be integrated into the course and assessment design, delivery and review.

2.6 In the case of higher education programs, the educational design of each program must be validated by checking that the characteristics of assessment across the program are well-defined and are aligned with the requirements of the program learning outcomes.

Objectives

2.7 The objectives of validation are to ensure that assessment:

a) is clearly stated so that students are able to determine how they will be assessed, what outcomes are expected and that assessment meets their needs

b) is consistently applied across all campuses and modes of delivery, including third party delivery

c) promotes, reinforces and rewards student learning

d) is appropriate to the level of study

e) meets the needs of industry and other relevant stakeholders

f) is fair and equitable in relation to timing, weighting and frequency

g) provides adequate evidence that the stated outcomes have been acquired (including consistency with competency/module learning outcomes, and assessment context and learning activities – as appropriate – in vocational education and training)

h) is designed to minimise plagiarism and maximise authenticity

i) is aligned and consistent with the description of assessment in the Course Guide (Part B)

j) facilitates consistent interpretation of standards for course and competency outcomes

k) is related to an approved marking criterion for each grade, where graded assessment is used

l) provides feedback and drives continuous improvement in learning and training delivery and assessment practices

m) facilitates the professional development of assessors, including fostering the development of networks and promoting access to up-to-date information about what is happening in their industry/profession

2.8 Validation processes will be inclusive of external input and scrutiny, including relevant industry and professional bodies and regulatory / legislative authorities.

2.9 Validation must be incorporated into the Program Annual Review and documented in the Program Annual Report.

Provisions

2.10 Moderation and validation shall apply to the:

a) design and development of the overall assessment strategy

b) design of assessment activities

c) grading of students’ work, including consistency of grading standards

Validation instructions

Validation will be carried out in accordance with the following instructions:

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