Internal Moderation

1 Introduction

1.1 The University needs to be assured that robust, effective and consistent internal moderation processes are taking place in all subject areas across all Faculties.

1.2 The detailed processes are likely to vary according to local circumstances. However, it is necessary the moderation systems of all Colleges are based on a “minimum threshold” definition of internal moderation, standard roles and standard processes as outlined below.

2 Definition

“To moderate” is to regulate or adjust within norms or against predetermined criteria. In practice, internal moderation with respect to assessment involves a process to ensure that the marking has taken place in a way which ensures maintenance of standards, consistency of marking and fairness to students. It does not necessarily entail a second allocation of marks (second marking), but where second marking is practised, for example with reference to Independent Studies, this may be viewed as a test of marking as outlined in the procedures below.

3 Policy

3.1 All assessed work submitted for credit in programmes leading to University of Derby awards shall be subject to a process of internal moderation. This policy extends to all modes of assessment and all delivery locations. Where assessed work is not in written form, every effort should be made to apply some appropriate form of moderation.

3.2 When assessment is undertaken by collaborative partners, internal moderation must be carried out by University staff in accordance with the procedures below. Moderation already carried out by the collaborative partner's staff through locally determined mechanisms is to be encouraged as good practice but is not sufficient to satisfy the University's requirements. When there is no direct equivalent University programme, internal moderation must be carried out by a designated member of staff of the University's most cognate programme. Where assessment is in a language other than English, sufficient translations must be obtained to enable the University moderation to be of the specified sample size.

4 Procedures

4.1 Procedures for all modules/programmes:

i. First mark all completed assessments. Evidence of marking and an indication of how marks have been awarded should be shown on all assessments (coursework and examination).

ii. The moderator (a member of staff other than the first marker) should

(a) Test mark samples from every delivery location (home provision and collaborative provision, as specified in the Operational Manual) and every mode of study (full time, part time, online and distributed learning). Each sample should:

  • Be drawn from, and reflect, the whole mark range;
  • Be of appropriate size related to cohort (the square root of total assessment with a minimum of five should be seen as the minimum sample;
  • Encompass all the components of assessment used in the module eg assignment; examination.

(b) Form a firm view of the appropriateness of marks allocated to students:

  • If there is disagreement between the first marker and the moderator in relation to the marks attributed, the work is referred to an academic staff member from the same team who will act as second moderator and negotiate a resolution.

(c) Prepare a brief module moderation report (which should be retained) using the University template on:

  • The basis of marking including the use, where appropriate, of marking schemes and whether marking utilised schemes well and applied assessment criteria;
  • How the moderation process was carried out;
  • Marks gained, for example, highlighting questions that have been poorly answered or not attempted, where marks vary between examination and in-course assessment etc.;
  • Problems encountered and how they were resolved, including suggestions about any problems relating to form and content of assessment to be addressed in the following year.

iii. The moderator report should be incorporated into programme reports, and copies of moderator reports should be sent to External Examiners.

iv. For collaborative programmes, the production of the internal moderator's report, and subsequent action, will be monitored by the member of staff at the University with designated responsibility for the partnership.

5 Timing of Moderation

Moderation of coursework may take place after the return of work to students in order that it does not hinder the timely return of work to students (on the basis that feedback to students always informs them that marks are subject to moderation). In all cases the moderation report should be completed in time to inform programme annual monitoring reports. It should be noted that the sample of work that is moderated is the same sample sent to the External Examiner, and this may be archived for use in external audit and review.