Moderation is now required as part of the Flinders University Assessment Policy and will be embedded in course and topic assessment practices from 1 January 2021, as the Assessment Practice procedures become effective. As discussed in this Good Practice Guide (GPG), moderation is a process which requires you to involve other staff and/or students as critical friends and/or reviewers when you engage in any aspect of assessment. They provide a sense check on matters of appropriateness, comprehension, consistency, fairness and/or transparency.
The process can be applied to many aspects of assessment such as the assessment items, assessment instructions, marking guides, rubrics, marking, grading and feedback (or any other aspect of assessment). Tip sheets on Moderating Assessment design and Moderating grading and feedback are available to support you in developing the process. You may consider it to be like a peer review or peer evaluation but with a specific focus on assessment.
Moderation is important because it provides quality assurance of assessment by supporting verification of the judgements used when assessing (Bloxham, Hughes and Adie, 2016) and is essential to ensuring the integrity of assessment tasks. Issues of assessment validity and reliability are identified and improved through moderation, which as indicated above should be used at all stages of assessment: designing; marking; final grading.
It is important to note that regardless of whether you are delivering a topic on your own or as a member of a team, it is possible to undertake moderation of your assessment. There are various ways to moderate assessments and assure their quality. These approaches are discussed in more detail in the aforementioned GPG and Tip sheets.
Bloxham, S., Hughes, C., & Adie, L. (2016). What’s the point of moderation? A discussion of the purposes achieved through contemporary moderation practices. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(4), 638-653. doi:10.1080/02602938.2015.1039932