Moderation for fair assessment in transnational learning and teaching
Report Publication Date: 2011
Primary Project Leader
Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)
Source: Priority Projects
The project has advanced knowledge by providing a comprehensive analysis of TNE Australian academic and administrative staff experiences across a range of universities, types of partnership/transnational sites and academic disciplines. Arguably, this is the first research to systematically document and analyse the perspectives of TNE staff. A total of 85 interviews were conducted across eight Australian and overseas locations. Over 100 responses were received to the online questionnaire. The project found very different concepts of moderation and attitudes towards it across the Australian universities and their TNE partners. Tensions exist between Australian staff wanting to retain control and TNE partner staff wanting to have input and be trusted. When exploring interpretations of 'comparability' and 'equivalence' in assessment, the project found that whilst academic standards and big picture outcomes at the program level are highly valued by all staff, there is a range of interpretations on how these should be achieved. The project's contribution to knowledge is encapsulated in the key deliverables of the project, namely the TNE Assessment Moderation Toolkit, a glossary of terms, and a literature review.
The project has documented moderation approaches that are potentially examples of good practice: structured and frequent communication, continuity in staffing to build relationships, use of marking guides, and the development of shared understandings around assessment. The TNE Assessment Moderation Toolkit, designed for involving the whole teaching team including partner organisation staff in assessment moderation practices, is available at the project website.