Moderation of student work can support teachers to reach a shared understanding of the meaning of a standard, and to more reliably judge a range of evidence in relation to that standard. In theory insights teachers gain via moderation activities could support changes in teaching, leading to improvements in outcomes for students. However moderation has largely been under-researched as a professional learning activity: we need to know more about the dynamics of moderation processes that are successful in supporting professional learning as opposed to those that result in moderation being viewed as simply an accountability-focused demand on teachers’ time. NZCER has established a programme of work in this area, starting with a range of questions about school moderation practice in relation to the National Standards in the NZCER National Survey of Primary Schools 2010. This paper will discuss the analysis of teacher survey responses about school moderation practice in relation to the question of its use in professional learning, and consider the implications of the findings in the light of a literature review that has recently been undertaken.
Paper presented at the Symposium on Assessment and Learner Outcomes, Wellington, September 1-3, 2011