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Moderation Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy applies to all undergraduate (including undergraduate honours' courses) and coursework postgraduate courses and subjects.

(2) The Policy establishes a framework of minimum requirements for the moderation of learning materials and assessment within which Faculty will devise specific guidelines for moderation procedures, allowing for the contractual arrangements involving teaching partners of Charles Sturt University (the University).

(3) The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that:

  1. course and subject materials provided to students contain clearly-stated learning outcomes and current learning resources, and that students understand what is expected to complete satisfactorily the requirements of courses/subjects;
  2. subject assessment tasks are stated unambiguously, consistent with internal and external curriculum principles for the course and the learning outcomes for the subject, and that they are appropriately and fairly weighted and are applied consistently irrespective of the place and mode of delivery; and
  3. everyone involved in course and subject delivery and assessment has a shared understanding of the Assessment Principles Policy, and will make informed assessment judgments that are transparent and applied consistently to all students.
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Section 2 - Glossary

(4) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy

Part A - The Objectives of Moderation

(5) Moderation seeks to ensure that:

  1. the Subject Convenors/Subject Coordinators and course teams comply with the Assessment Principles Policy of Academic Senate;
  2. standards to be achieved by students are transparent, widely-understood and observed;
  3. learning assessment tasks are consistent with stated learning outcomes and are set at the appropriate Australian Qualifications Framework level for the award; and
  4. assessment procedures and practices are fair and incorporate clearly-defined assessment (and marking) criteria that are fairly and consistently applied for all students in the subject.

Part B - The Nature and Definition of Moderation

(6) The minimum requirement at Charles Sturt University (the University) is that moderation of all learning materials and assessments for each subject will be undertaken at least once per year.

(7) At Charles Sturt University (the University), moderation has three phases (pre-delivery moderation; moderation during delivery; post-delivery moderation).

Pre-Delivery Moderation

(8) Moderation of subject learning materials involves a comprehensive analysis of the content of the Subject Outline across all subject offerings, including:

  1. the appropriateness of all learning materials to the assumed knowledge for the subject and the level of the award;
  2. the currency and suitability of the learning materials, as well as the clarity and tone of the communication with students;
  3. an appraisal of the relation between the subject and the intended course learning outcomes; and
  4. an appraisal of the extent to which previous moderation reviews, feedback and comments have been addressed.

(9) Review of assessment tasks reaffirms the fairness, clarity and standards of the assessment tasks before they are used. Assessment tasks will be subject to pre-assessment moderation to ensure that:

  1. they are appropriately aligned with the learning outcomes of the course;
  2. assessments are fair and feasible, take into consideration adjustments that may be required for students with disabilities and that reasonable weightings are applied for each task;
  3. they are appropriately spaced throughout the study period and achievable by students in the allocated timeframe;
  4. their content and instructions are presented clearly, using plain English, so that students understand what is required of them in order to achieve a given grade, in accordance with the Assessment Principles Policy; and
  5. the academic challenge they demand of students is consistent with the level of the award for the course.

Moderation During Delivery

(10) Moderation during delivery includes checking the consistency of marking of the assessment tasks and grading process against the assessment/marking criteria and related standards in order to ensure consistency across groups of students in the same subject, as well as reviewing all grades before approval and communication to students.

Post-Delivery Moderation

(11) Post-Delivery moderation is an examination of the effectiveness of the moderation process and includes a formal reflection on moderation methods used.

Benchmarking (or External Referencing)

(12) Courses and subjects will be benchmarked regularly against similar accredited courses offered by other higher education providers to ensure comparability of standards and to gain feedback for ongoing review and improvement. This process will be managed by the Faculty and will occur in addition to the moderation process internal to the University.

Part C - The Frequency of Moderation of the Three Phases

(13) In line with clause 6, Internal Pre-Delivery, During-Delivery and Post-Delivery moderation should be carried out at least once per year for each subject.

Part D - Responsibilities and Reporting

(14) Faculties, Schools and course teams and Course Directors are responsible for developing their own moderation guidelines supporting the University's internal reporting practices.

(15) The Executive Dean, or nominee (such as a Course Director) will be responsible for the moderation of courses and subjects taught by the University's teaching partners, in consultation with Head of Schools.

(16) The Head of School or nominee will be responsible for the moderation of subjects, and will maintain a record of the outcomes of the moderation processes for reporting to School and Faculty Assessment Committee.

(17) The Executive Dean or nominee will provide a summary report to Academic Senate each year, in a format to be determined by Academic Senate.

Part E - Moderators

(18) Moderators will be appointed by the Head of School (or nominee).

(19) Moderators will be experienced staff, with appropriate skills. Moderators may be staff currently teaching or marking in the subject. Moderators may also be people who are not currently employed as staff of the University. The Quality Assurance officer for the subject or a group of subjects may also be the moderator, if they have the appropriate skills and knowledge. Moderators cannot moderate their own marking or subject outlines.

(20) It is expected that moderators will be provided with appropriate training.

Part F - The Role of Academic Senate

(21) Academic Senate is responsible for:

  1. approving and amending this Policy; and
  2. with the assistance of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), monitoring the implementation and the regular reporting on the outcomes of this Policy.
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Section 4 - Procedures

(22) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(23) Nil.