Internal moderation refers to the process of checking, discussing and agreeing assessment briefs, examination papers and marked work. It is conducted by a University colleague who is guided by a set of criteria laid out on a relevant Moderation Proforma* to ensure that assessment is reliable, valid and developmental.
Internal moderation seeks to ensure academic standards are met and good practice is highlighted and shared. It occurs prior to external moderation being conducted by an approved External Examiner.
* (1) Moderation Proforma for Assessment Briefs, (2) Moderation Proforma for Examination Papers, (3) Moderation Proforma for Marked Work.
- Developmental - Internal moderation activities are opportunities to share good practice and learn from others.
- Collaborative - There needs to be a dialogue between Module Tutor and Internal Moderator to ensure assessment mechanisms and marking are effective and reliable.
- Valid and reliable - Internal moderation of assessment briefs and exam papers needs to be informed by the approved Module Specification. Internal moderation of marked work needs to be informed by the approved learning outcomes, as well as Sector-recognised Standards reflected on General Assessment Guidelines and marking schemes.
- Providing a critical eye - Internal Moderators perform as key role as a “critical friend”. Any issues with assessments and marking should be resolved prior to external moderation.
- Timely - Internal moderation needs to be conducted in a timely way to ensure students are not disadvantaged by delays in receiving assessment information and feedback.
- Fair - Moderation should not involve changes to any marks in the sample of work – If marks of sample work need to be revised, then all assessments in the cohort should be looked at.
- Document any discussions and actions on the Moderation Proforma. The External Examiner needs to be assured that due process has taken place and that moderation is not simply a “tick-box” activity on your programme.
- Compile a marking and internal moderation schedule at the start of the semester showing who is responsible for marking and moderation for each module, as well as provisional dates for activities – bearing in mind the need for timely distribution of briefs, checking of exam papers by the Standards and Enhancement Office and returning work.
- Arrange a moderation meeting between the marker and moderator to discuss any good practice and queries, documenting discussions and actions on the Moderation Profiorma.
- Where there is a team of markers, conduct standardisation prior to moderation, This should improve consistency of marks and feedback (see sub section XXX)
Read the issues and click to reveal the action to be taken by the Internal Moderator (IM).
Bloxham, S., Hughes, C. & Adie, L. (2016). What’s the Point of Moderation? A Discussion of the Purposes Achieved Through Contemporary Moderation Practices. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41 (4). pp 638-653
McGuire, W., & Raaper, R. (2016). Developing a Guiding Protocol for the Moderation of Summative Assessments. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 4(1). Pp. 36-43.
Poole, B. (2022). Moderation: Concept and Operationalisation in UK Universities. Quality Assurance in Education, 30(4). pp. 464-476.
University of Bolton (2023). Assessment and Moderation Procedures [online]. Available from https://www.bolton.ac.uk/assets/Student-Policy-Zone-2023-24/Assessment-and-Moderation-Procedures-2023-24.pdf