ACT Grade Moderation Model

Structured Consensus-Based Peer Review

Structured Consensus-based Peer Review describes the ACT model of moderation used to monitor standards and validate unit grades awarded to portfolios of student work.  This is an advisory model where peer reviewers seek to affirm and/or assist colleges with their judgements.

ACT model of Structured, Consensus-based Peer Review

The process involves all Year 11 and 12 teachers from all colleges that offer the ACT Senior Secondary system. This moderation process takes place twice a year usually in early March and August. On each day portfolios of students' work in all subject areas are reviewed. In March the work from Year 11 semester 2 is reviewed and in August the work from Year 12 semester 1 is reviewed. This allows for the authentication of standards for the same cohort over two consecutive semesters.

On each moderation day, presentations of units from A, T, V, C and M courses are presented for peer review at specified unit grade standards.  These presentations include documentation of course unit delivery and a specified number of portfolios of student work according to the agreed requirements from different courses of study.

Teachers of each course review another college's presentation and comment on:

  • Adherence to Board policies and course document requirements
  • The quality and appropriateness of criterion referenced assessment tasks and marking schemes
  • Teacher judgements of student grade standards against system grade descriptors

After conferencing, a consensus report is prepared on each reviewed presentation.  This feedback is forwarded to colleges and where necessary is responded to by schools in the form of an action plan.  The moderation process is therefore a means of providing quality assurance across the ACT college system.  It also drives improvement in teaching practice and teacher judgement of framework standards.

Analysis of feedback from moderation days also provides the evidence base for identifying system curriculum and assessment issues.