Challenges of moderation of assessment in private training establishments in New Zealand

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Handa, Meenakshi
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Educational Leadership and Management
Unitec Institute of Technology
Cardno, Carol
Bassett, Martin
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
private training establishments (PTEs)
middle level leaders
performance appraisal
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Handa, M. (2018). Challenges of Moderation of Assessment in Private Training Establishments in New Zealand. This dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management at Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What is the purpose and practice of moderation of assessment in private training establishments? 2. What are the roles and responsibilities of academic leaders and assessors in the moderation of assessments? 3. What are the challenges experienced by academic leaders and assessors in the moderation of assessments? The research problem is that many private training establishments (PTEs) are failing the expectations of New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) that they will carry out effective moderation of assessments. The main focus of my research is to explore the challenges related to moderation of assessment as a quality assurance process in other PTEs’. The aim of this research is to investigate the challenges that the private training establishments could be facing in moderation. One qualitative research method was used in this research which is semi-structured interviews with the Academic Leaders and the Assessors. This method is used to investigate the challenges of moderation faced by private training establishments in New Zealand. The data gathering began with the researcher engaging in one-on-one semi-structured interviews with the three Academic leaders and three Assessors from various different private training establishments. The first key finding in my study is related to purpose and process of moderation. The second key finding in my study is related to the role of middle level leaders which are the academic leaders and how they collaborate staff/assessors/lecturers. The third key finding in my study is the challenges faced by the middle level leaders and assessors regarding the Internal and external component and the feedback loop in moderation of assessments. A conclusion I can draw from my study is that the practice of moderation of assessments is valued and robust in the institutions sampled in this research. In all three institutions they are clear about the mistakes made in the past and now they have aligned practices with the official stated purposes and processes of moderation. They further mentioned about the aspects of moderation that are working and then provided the details of challenges of moderation. Last but not least, they have stated some actions being taken by the academic leaders and the assessors to overcome those challenges in order to establish much more effective and efficient moderation practices for the sustainability of the private training establishment. From my study it has become clear that moderation is an important practice and that in order for it to be effective there needs to be clear communication about expectations. If practice is to be improved, then the institutions should be prepared to align the practices directly with the purposes of moderation.
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