Statistical Moderation and Social Moderation around Australia

With the increased emphasis on teacher judgment in high-stakes assessment has come the role of social moderation in ensuring that student performances of equivalent standard are recognised as such before subject results can be recorded on a certificate with comparability guaranteed. With the widespread use of an index of overall achievement as the basis for offering university places has come the role of statistical moderation in ensuring that the results of different assessments (different subjects, different sites) are on a common scale before being combined to produce a tertiary entrance rank. Social moderation and statistical moderation are two of a variety of techniques for linking results of one assessment to those of another (Linn, 1993). And there are variations within each of these techniques in practice. Australia has eight different systems for senior curriculum, assessment and certification. The federal government has recently proposed the introduction of a single Australian Certificate of Education. The process of exploring a way forward has included an analysis of similarities and differences in current arrangements including ways of validating teacher judgments and ‘scaling’ subject-group results. This paper outlines the theoretical underpinnings of statistical moderation and social moderation, and describes applications of these form and purpose in various Australian states/territories.


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  • July 21, 2018 Create Date
  • July 21, 2018 Last Updated