Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Moderation

Moderation is a process for checking and reviewing our assessment processes to ensure the quality of our learning, teaching and assessment. It's about making sure our assessment practices are valid, reliable, fair and consistent, not only for students but also staff and external stakeholders. Assessment will always involve our professional judgment, and moderation helps us feel confident that our judgments align with CSU policies, external or accrediting standards and with our peers in our course or discipline teams.

The CSU Moderation policy defines moderation as assuring that

a) course and subject materials provided to students contain clearly-stated learning outcomes and current learning resources, and that students understand what is expected to satisfactorily complete the requirements of courses/subjects;

b) subject assessment tasks are stated unambiguously, consistent with internal and external curriculum principles for the course and the learning outcomes for the subject, and that they are appropriately and fairly weighted and are applied consistently irrespective of the place and mode of delivery; and

c) everyone involved in course and subject delivery and assessment has a shared understanding of the Assessment Principles Policy, and will make informed assessment judgments that are transparent and applied consistently to all students.

There have been changes to process in quality assurance and moderation as in the list below.

  1. QA of assessment in the outline is now carried out in the Subject Outline Tool through QA Declarations as you design and develop your assessments and is no longer recorded in the Online Moderation System or QUASAR;
  2. Moderation and Grades forms are completed throughout the session as assessment is implemented, marked and graded. Reviewing during the marking process is especially important with criterion-referenced standards-based assessment to ensure consistency and quality as you mark. The grades are recommended to the School Assessment Committee;
  3. Reflection and Planning forms are completed when you review and evaluate your assessment processes to identify areas for improvement and provide a record of the moderation process to the School Assessment Committee.

Find help in the Quality Assurance and Reflection system (QUASAR) help pages for support. This system is the moderation system to use after 201930..

The Online Moderation System will no longer be used after 201930 session. Find help in the User Guide for the Online Moderation System.

Assessment Committees

School and Faculty Assessment Committees play an important role in moderating assessment practices. In particular, rather than being primarily concerned with the outcome of the assessment process, as reflected by the grade distribution within each subject, School and Faculty Assessment Committees are expected to scrutinise subjects in terms of their assessment design, assessment and moderation processes and the outcomes of those processes. The focus is on ensuring that subjects are able to demonstrate a criterion referenced and standards based assessment design, validated through peer review, and implemented in a fair and consistent way for all cohorts.

Guidelines for School Assessment Committees can be found in the Online Moderation System User Guide.

Timelines, roles and responsibilities for each phase of the Online Moderation System can be found at

All this moderation activity is then reported to Academic Senate, and these records help fulfil our obligations under TEQSA and the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015. It's important to remember, that while records need to be maintained to demonstrate what we are doing, the 'doing' should be our focus; the comparisons, learning and quality improvements that come about through moderating our assessments and learning materials ensures that CSU qualifications remain valued by students, employers and industry alike.