Teacher tip: Use moderation to make consistent decisions about student learning and assessment

​​Practice moderation for consistent, valid, evidence-based decisions around student learning and assessment.​

Teacher moderation is a process by which teachers, usually with different experiences and from across a range of year levels, meet to review student work samples based on the Victorian Curriculum F-10 Achievement Standards.

As a teacher, moderation supports:

  • the development and use of consistent assessment practices across classrooms and teachers
  • the development of metacognitive and self-regulation skills to enable students to monitor and lead their own learning.

Building the foundation for effective moderation

A shared understanding of student achievement will be firmly anchored in the Victorian Curriculum F-10 and use the language of the continuum of student learning. Moderation helps you, as a group of teachers, to build a shared language and understanding of what a student needs to be able to do to meet the achievement standard and how you will be able to recognise it.

The following steps describe an approach to a successful teacher moderation process:    

  • ​Start with the Curriculum Achievement Standards for your level.  As a group, look at the overall skills and knowledge described and break this down into a continuum of learning to be delivered over the teaching period.
  • Use your continuum to inform your choice and design of assessment tools. You might be creating a rubric, writing a marking guide or developing a proficiency scale. Design your assessment tools around your common assessment tasks.

This process will vary across schools, but it is based on teachers developing the skills and the tools to judge where students' work is on the continuum. This is the foundation work for successful moderation.

A step-by-step approach to moderation

Before moderation

  • Decide on an assessment task that reflects the objectives of the learning program, is connected with the Victorian Curriculum F-10 and will identify students' understandings and gaps
  • Gather the assessment tools and resources to support assessment (e.g. rubrics, checklists, Curriculum Achievement Standards)
  • Distribute copies of student work
  • Decide who will chair or facilitate the session

During moderation

  • Read the student's work aloud and discuss as a group
  • Assess using the criteria described in the Victorian Curriculum F-10 Achievement Standards for the appropriate curriculum levels
  • Collectively discuss strengths, gaps, patterns and trends
  • ​Set goals and share teaching strategies
  • P​lan next steps

After moderation

  • Deliver next steps
  • Begin cycle again and assess student progress to determine whether the instructional strategies were successful
  • Set new goals

Explore the latest professional practice note

A practice note has been developed to assist teachers to use assessment moderation within a teaching and learning cycle. See:

Professional Practice Note #15: Assessment Moderation

Read the assessment mode​ration case study
Hume Central P-12 College explores their moderation process​

This note is a part of a series of professional practice notes to support improvement in teaching.​​

For queries about the professional practice notes, email: professional.practice@edumail.vic.gov.au

For more information about other frameworks and resources in this article, see: Professional Practice Elements and Practice Note 14: Using Metacognition to Support Student Self-Regulation and Empowerment.