Elisabeth Hutton
Making assessment rigorous, fair and consistent – moderation in an academic English program

In the Pre-enrolment English Program (PEP), teaching staff are employed on a casual basis according to program needs. Especially in the last 10 weeks of the program, the limited time for induction into tasks, the lack of familiarity with assessment expectations and standards present a challenge to the (new) PEP teachers and can impact on the quality of the program and the students’ success. One of the many challenges is how to ensure that assessment practices are rigorous, fair and consistent across all classes.

The presenter will:

- Give a brief introduction to the Pre-enrolment English Program (PEP).
- Discuss some of the challenges teachers face.
- Explain the phases of formative & summative tasks moderation process.
- Discuss some of the issues observed in the moderation sessions.
- Explain the changes to the Final Exam Essay moderation process (blindmarking).
- Evaluate moderation as a professional development tool.

The current process has been effective and is similar to what Klenowski & Adie (2009, in Crimmins et al. 2016) describe as ‘calibration model’ or ‘consensus moderation’. It has provided PEP teachers with the opportunity to develop a common understanding of the PEP assessment expectations and standards as well as continue to enhance their own professional development.

Beth Hutton has taught on the PEP since 2004. She has been PEP Coordinator of the ELC since 2008 and participated in the curriculum re-write throughout 2009-10. She has had extensive teaching and management experience in the field of English as a Foreign Language and was head of a Foreign Language Department in Argentina prior to living in Australia. Beth’s qualifications include Bachelor of Arts (Brazil), Graduate Certificate in TESOL (Australia), and has started a Master in Applied Linguistics (Macquarie University).