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About the Project

Improving teacher assessment capability using scaled annotated exemplars of achievement standards in online moderation

The overarching goal of this Australian Research Council Linkage project was to examine the potential of scaled work samples exemplifying A-E standards within a new online moderation method to support teachers’ assessment practices and comparability of judgements. This project developed an assessment framework bringing together standards (A-E), actual exemplars of student work for Years 4, 6 and 8 English, Science and Maths, and related commentaries of how judgements of quality were formed in an on-line platform for moderation. The utility of the exemplars and associated commentaries was studied through teachers’ use of these as the foundation for dependable judgements of students’ work. The project engaged with geographically distributed schools and over 150 teachers in Queensland and Western Australia across urban, rural, remote and very remote settings.

Teacher participation offered a unique professional learning opportunity to enhance their assessment literacy, including understanding of A-E judgements.

We acknowledge the valuable contribution made by teachers, schools, Principals and the Queensland Department of Education Principal Project Officers and thank them for their professionalism, commitment and time.

Project stages

Stage 1 teachers implemented and graded an assessment task with their class as per normal practice, submitting the de-identified work to the Project Team.

Stage 2 teachers participated in pairwise comparison of student work for their chosen discipline and year level. This involved online comparison of 40-120 pairs of student performances, making a judgement regarding which of each pair was a higher standard.

Stage 3 teachers viewed selected scaled performances from Stage 2 that demonstrated internal consistency, and identified which sample best represented the provided A-E standards.

Stage 4 teachers wrote 2-3 cognitive commentaries for selected performances, describing how the overall judgement was made. They participated in online meetings with other year level and discipline teachers to discuss and refine the commentaries. The endorsed exemplars with associated cognitive commentaries were used in the Stage 5 trial.

Stage 5 teachers moderated their own student performances using the online exemplars with associated cognitive commentaries and provided feedback on the use of the online moderation resources.

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