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Coordinating the SACE Stage 1 moderation
In Stage 1 subjects, student work is assessed entirely by the school. To make sure that students' work is marked consistently no matter where they attend school, the subjects that students study to meet the compulsory requirements of the SACE are moderated.
Moderation is part of the confirming phase of the quality assurance cycle. Learn more about the quality assurance cycle, including your roles and responsibilities.
Use the list of Stage 1 key dates to plan your year.
On this page
- Stage 1 moderation infographic
- Forms and supporting documents
- Schools Online training videos
- The SACE Board's responsibilities
- The SACE Officer's responsibilities
- Principals, SACE coordinators, and principals' delegate responsibilities
- Teachers' responsibilities
- Guidelines for moderators and supervisors
- Moderation feedback
Moderation at Stage 1:
- confirms that students have met the compulsory Stage 1 requirements of the SACE.
- ensures that the performance standards in Stage 1 English and mathematics subjects and the PLP have been applied consistently
- ensures that school-assessed results awarded to students across all schools are comparable
- provides valid and fair school assessment results for students.
Which subjects are moderated at Stage 1?
Subjects that meet the compulsory requirements of the SACE are moderated:
Personal Learning Plan
English as an Additional Language
The following operating principles underpin the moderation procedures for SACE subjects at Stage 1:
Moderation decisions maintain the order of student achievement in the school assessment.
A student is neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by having their work included in the sample submitted for moderation.
Interdependence and responsibility
The procedures for assuring the integrity of SACE assessments are based on the interconnected and complementary responsibilities of the students, the teacher, school leaders, and the SACE Board in the assessment process.
The procedures for assuring the integrity of SACE assessments are explicit and open to scrutiny.
Moderation seeks to confirm the school's assessment decisions about student achievement, based on the assumption that the learning requirements, assessment design criteria, and specifications of the subject outline have been followed and that the performance standards have been interpreted consistently.
Stage 1 moderation infographic
Forms and supporting documents
- Stage 1 moderation and review schedule - semester 1, 2023 [PDF 70KB]
- Results submission - Stage 1 (information sheet 28)
- Stage 1 moderation process flowchart [PDF 430KB]
- Guidelines for responding to Stage 1 moderation feedback [DOC 1MB]
- Frequently asked questions [PDF 135KB]
Schools Online training videos
Stage 1 Moderation Online Submission - Teach Edition
Moderation & Review Sample Submission Dashboard - Principals Delegate
Assessment types - subject outlines specify different types of assessments that students are to undertake. An assessment type may comprise one or more tasks.
Student sample - the total work of one student, completed according to the approved learning and assessment plan and marked by the teacher according to the performance standards. This work should be uploaded as a single file (excluding multimedia). The student sample might not include the final task.
Grade band - the five bands of achievement described in the performance standards: A, B, C, D, and E.
Moderation sample - up to 6 student samples selected by a school to represent the school's assessment decisions at the C and D grades. This includes a Teacher Pack – a combined document which comprises of:
- learning and assessment plan(s)
- assessment task sheets
- relevant supporting materials, e.g. answer guides, mark schemes, rubrics, specific features of the assessment design criteria, solutions for skills and applications tasks (for mathematics subjects).
Stage 1 moderation is conducted on a school-by-school basis. Schools will be notified of the schedule.
Schools that are requested to participate in Stage 1 moderation
Schools participate in moderation for Stage 1 PLP and the Stage 1 English and mathematics subjects offered by the school until their results are confirmed for two consecutive years. Where results have been confirmed in the PLP or an English or mathematics subject in two consecutive years (e.g. 2019 and 2020) schools move to a longer moderation cycle for that subject (i.e. once every three years).
Principal’s Delegates will be able to view the Moderation/Review dashboard to see which subjects are due for moderation in the current year. Teachers can log into Schools Online and see if their subject is due for moderation on their class list as soon as at least one student has been enrolled in the class.
Schools that are not requested to participate in Stage 1 moderation
Schools that have moved to the longer moderation cycle should have processes in place to ensure that students’ results in the subject(s) reflect the state-wide interpretation and application of the performance standards.
Schools may also request moderation for an additional English or mathematics subject or the PLP if they require support to confirm the C grade due to significant changes in staffing or in the learning and assessment program.
The SACE Board's responsibilities
The SACE Board:
- appoints a SACE Officer to lead and support the moderation process for each Stage 1 English and mathematics subject and the Personal Learning Plan
- asks schools to nominate teacher(s) to act as moderators.
The SACE Board:
- ensures that moderators and supervisors are not allocated to moderate/supervise: their own school, or schools with which they have an association or a conflict of interest
- trains moderators/supervisors in the moderation/supervision procedures
- requires all assessment panel members to declare any potential conflicts of interest
- requires all assessment panel members to maintain confidentiality throughout and after the moderation process in accordance with the SACE Board's Code of Conduct
- ensures the security of the school and student results, information, and materials.
The SACE Board:
- sends the information from the Stage 1 moderation feedback form to schools
- advises principals of the outcome of the moderation process.
The SACE Officer's responsibilities
Before and during moderation
The SACE Officer:
- leads and oversees the moderation process
- develops benchmarking course in PLATO before moderation begins using common sets of student materials for each subject and training moderators to use evidence of learning in student materials to support assessment decisions
- ensures that moderators and supervisors apply the performance standards consistently throughout the moderation process
- monitors moderators' and supervisors' decisions
- reviews moderators' and supervisors' decisions before adjustments are recommended
- supervises the collection of potential examples of assessment tasks and student work to be used as future clarifying benchmark and support materials.
The SACE Officer:
- checks the feedback resulting from moderation and indicates it has been quality assured.
Principals, SACE coordinators, and principals' delegate responsibilities
- approve school-developed and pre-approved LAPs that have been adapted
- liaise with Schools Online operators and teachers of Stage 1 subjects that are to be moderated to ensure enrolment data is correct and entered by the enrolment due date
- ensure that teachers are aware of the subject's sample submission due date and that they plan their learning and assessment programs so that all tasks, or all except the final task, are marked and available for moderation by the submission due date
- ensure their school submits moderation materials for each subject requested for moderation - irrespective of the number of classes for that subject in the school
- ensure that results presented at moderation reflect the school's application of the performance standard by all teacher for the subject(s) to be moderated
- oversee the process of uploading teacher packs and student samples to Schools Online.
- if requested by the SACE Board, nominates teacher(s) to act as moderators
- ensures nominated teachers are aware of their nomination, agree to follow the 'Guidelines for moderators and supervisors' and are released to participate in moderation on the date(s) listed in the moderation schedule
- may nominate additional moderators if they have teachers who would benefit from participating in Stage 1 moderation. These teachers are placed on a reserve list and are contacted by the SACE Board if required.
- provide copies of the moderation feedback to all teachers of subjects that were moderated
- ensure that feedback regarding any adjustments to students' results is actioned according to recommendations made through the moderation process.
Final results entered by teachers in Schools Online reflect the outcomes of moderation, or the confirming processes within the school for subjects that were not moderated by the SACE Board.
- ensure that all tasks (or all pending completion of the final task) in the approved LAP are completed and marked before moderation materials are submitted
- combine the result for each assessment type, considering weightings, to reach a final subject grade in the range A to E
- identify students with results in the C and D grades
Preparing for moderation
The moderation sample can be selected from only one class or teachers can submit samples from various classes in each subject. Teachers that are not submitting a sample from their class should select the ‘No samples’ box and send their moderation submission to the Principal’s Delegate.
- select student samples that are representative of the school's interpretation and application (that of all teachers) of the performance standards in the subject upload in Moderation Submission screen in Schools Online.
If there are no results in the C and D grades, schools should select student work from the adjacent grades for the moderation sample.
- the student samples
- a teacher pack
Student samples include:
- an entire marked set of student work (or pending completion of the final task)
The teacher pack includes:
- the approved LAP
- assessment task sheets
- any associated guide for each task (e.g. marks scheme, rubric, specific features of the assessment design criteria, solutions for skills and applications tasks)
- retain, or maintain access to, student evidence for the rest of the cohort for each subject that is being moderated, until the SACE Board has released Stage 1 results to students
- check that correct naming conventions are used
- upload the teacher pack and student samples via the Moderation Submission link on their class list in Schools Online and send to Principal's Delegate.
Student work that is missing evidence due to special provisions, misplaced work, or failure to complete a task should not be included in the moderation sample.
- review feedback and guidelines for responding to Stage 1 moderation
- ensure that students' final results reflect the outcome of moderation and of the confirming processes within the school (including those subjects that were not required for moderation by the SACE Board)
Teachers (in consultation with principals) may decide to use the following result codes, in addition to A-E grades, when reporting students' results to the SACE Board:
P - the result is pending. Students with result code P will not receive a result in that results period, and will have their enrolment rolled over to the next results period. P may be used for students who cannot be confirmed as achieving at least a C grade after moderation (or after confirming processes within the school). Students with result code P are expected to provide additional evidence to achieve a C grade or better.
Students results can then be updated in Schools Online in the subsequent results period.
N - There is insufficient evidence of learning to meet the E grade as described in the performance standards (i.e. no result). Students with result code N will not be awarded any credits.
W - The student has withdrawn from the subject. Students with result code W will not be awarded any credits.
Queries about moderation feedback or submitting final results should be directed to the SACE Board.
Guidelines for moderators and supervisors
Moderators and supervisors:
- complete the following before they begin moderating/supervising:
- declare any conflicts of interest and sign a conflict of interest
- participate in online benchmarking activities
- participate in moderator or supervisor training
- participate in moderation/supervision for the duration of moderation for a subject, according to the SACE Board schedule.
- moderate/supervise according to the moderation procedures and the instructions from the SACE Officer
- identify potential support materials
- identify potential breaches of rules
- are not to moderate or supervise the work of students from the school at which they teach or with which they have a conflict of interest
- are not to contribute to discussion related to the moderation of any school at which they teach or with which they have a conflict of interest
- are not to access information related to the outcome of the moderation or supervision process for any school at which they teach or with which they have a conflict of interest.
- maintain confidentiality of information about students’ results and schools before, during, and after the moderation process
- familiarise themselves with the ICAC information.
- ensure the security of school and student results, information, and materials during and after the moderation process.
Moderators and supervisors:
- work independently in an online environment, such as Microsoft Teams
- are allocated moderation tasks to moderate by the SACE Officer
- follow the Stage 1 moderation: moderator workflow or the Stage 1 moderation: supervisor workflow
- view the student samples to ensure:
- an overall subject grade (with an indication of how the result was determined)
- an entire set of marked student work (or all work pending completion of the final task)
- assessment task sheets and any associated guide for each task
- a copy of the learning and assessment plan(s) (and addendum, if applicable)
If any material is missing, the moderator informs the SACE Officer who will determine how to proceed.
5. review the student sample according to the following information.
The moderator/supervisor uses the moderation guidelines to review two C and two D student samples. If there are no C or D grade student samples, the moderator reviews student samples in adjacent grades (e.g. B and E grades).
Examples of the evidence moderators/supervisors would expect to see when reviewing student sample:
|Student sample||Student sample should contain|
|C student sample with similar respective weightings for the assessment types||Evidence demonstrating specific features predominantly in the C grade band.|
|C student sample with significantly different respective weightings for the assessment types||Evidence demonstrating, in the assessment type with the greatest weighting, specific features predominantly in the C grade band.|
If the moderator/supervisor confirms the two student sample grade(s) they recommend that all grades in the moderation sample are consistent and confirmed.
If the moderator/supervisor are unable to confirm or adjust a student sample grade(s), noting inconsistencies in the two samples they review one more student sample at that grade (if available) to make a recommendation based on the majority. For example, the third C sample is confirmed the overall grade is confirmed. If there is not a third student sample the moderator will confirm the grades assigned by the school.
- Moderators indicate, on the electronic Stage 1 moderation sample form, which student samples were reviewed.
- Moderators provide a recommendation to either confirm or adjust results. Where grades are confirmed, moderators complete the electronic Stage 1 moderation feedback form.
- Supervisors review the proposed recommendations to adjust results to ensure that they reflect the statewide interpretation and application of the performance standards. Any adjustments must be based on the substantive evidence viewed from the moderation sample, the performance standards, and the specifications of the relevant subject outline.
Supervisors either confirm or adjust results and complete the electronic Stage 1 moderation feedback form
- SACE Officers quality assure the Stage 1 moderation outcomes and feedback form.
Results are confirmed when most student samples in the moderation sample demonstrate evidence of the assessment design criteria and associated specific features at the grade level(s) reported by the school.
An adjustment from one grade band to another grade band (e.g. C to D) is made when most of the student samples in the moderation sample consistently demonstrate evidence of the assessment design criteria and associated specific features in a different grade band. Adjustments are not usually made on the basis of a single inconsistently assigned student sample grade.
The SACE Board:
- sends the Stage 1 moderation feedback form to schools. The SACE Officer checks the feedback indicating that it has been quality assured
- advises principals of the outcome of the moderation process
Schools and teachers:
- carefully consider this feedback and use it to finalise grades by making sure that their final results are consistent with the grades recommended for the moderation sample.