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Moderation Workshop

Moderation Workshop

Overall learning goal

By the end of this session, participants will:

  • have a better understanding of the definition, uses and impact of moderation in uniform exams, 


  • carry out an analysis using exam results to assess the impact of moderation.
  • be able to support teaching staff’s understanding of moderation.


Members of the Committee on Assessment Reporting and Evaluation (CARE) Come together a number of times over the year to further their knowledge and skills in order to support schools to improve outcomes through the use of data. The group also develop objectives and plan and implement specific strategic actions arising from the current priorities in education.

Moderation is a process, using a statistical procedure, whereby the school marks for a particular group/class are adjusted to closely align to the marks obtained on the uniform exam. The adjusted school mark is known as the Moderated School Mark. The overall purpose of the Moderation workshop is to help pedagogical consultants and teachers understand how student success is impacted by the alignment of class marks and uniform exam marks.

CARE members work together to develop a workshop in collaboration with the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) project to contribute to consultant and teachers’ professional development in the area of data literacy and the impact of teaching practices on students’ overall marks. The day involves a mixture of presentations and activities aimed at familiarizing participants with the moderation process. The workshop also introduces participants to the use of collaborative inquiry approaches in order to use data effectively to improve teaching and learning.

Instructional design

Warm Up: four corners activity

Warm Up: four corners activity - how do you feel when dealing with data?

Individual Expectations - Participants are asked by the facilitators to consider what they hope to learn from the workshop, how they will use their knowledge about moderation in their respective roles & what their burning question is regarding moderation.

The facilitators set out the overall goal for the day and reviews the two learning outcomes. Participants should gain content knowledge regarding definition, uses and impact of moderation as well as gaining practical application experience to enable them to support teaching staff’s understanding of moderation.

Setting the stage

Setting the stage: The facilitators take participants through an example data set to ensure they have a good understanding of school & ministry

exam marks before exploring the process of moderating student marks.

  • Activity 1 - Understanding moderation Kahoot: Participants are asked to join an online quiz to test their current knowledge of moderation.

In a brief presentation, moderation is defined for participants before they consider why moderation is used to adjust student results.


“The Mechanics of Moderation: Understanding how it works”

The participants engage in an active session on “The Mechanics of Moderation: Understanding how it works”.  The session covers:

  • The bell curve of normal distribution

  • The 4 “mathematical factors” that affect a student’s final mark with moderation

  • The moderation formula

  • Summary marks are like water - the moderation process

  • Participants are guided through sample student data covering easy, medium and hard classes


  • Activity 2 - Think Pair Share: Participants are asked to use this collaborative learning strategy to work together to answer the following question: What four “mathematical factors” do you think affect a student’s final mark with moderation?

The four factors are reviewed individually and then put into an equation to create the moderation formula.

Data Driven Dialogue

Data Driven Dialogue (DDD) - Participants are introduced to the usefulness of the Data Driven Dialogue process to help them analyse the impact of moderation on student outcomes.

Using an example data set, the facilitators take participants through the data driven process, highlighting important questions to ask at each step.

Activity 3 - In groups, participants share observations about their example data set, using the DDD questions and steps. In order to make predictions in a factual, non-judgemental way, participants use the following statements:

  • I notice that…

  • I see that…

  • I am struck by….

  • I am surprised that…

They are asked to then infer or ask questions about the results they find in the data set using the following statements:

  • A possible explanation is…

  • That may be because…

  • A question I have now is…

Possible factors that contribute to misalignment  are presented to the participants in a short presentation.  

Your coaching role

Following a brief explanation, setting the scene, participants are invited to practice individually using the DDD process with their own data sets.

Activity 4 - your coaching role: participants are given a scenario in which a principal asks them to talk to teachers at a short after school meeting about last June’s exam results and the impact of moderation on the results. The task is for participants to create a script to support their coaching role.

Participants are provided with example meeting plan templates and a template for reflecting on learning focussed conversations about moderation. They are also asked to consider the types of questions they may ask teachers when examining results.


The workshop is concluded and participants are invited to ask the facilitators questions or get in touch at a later date for questions or support. 


Participants are asked to complete an online evaluation of the workshop and submit it to the facilitator.