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How is moderation important to learners and what should you look out for? Understanding the moderation process will give learners more power, especially when they must advocate for themselves during a poor experience.

The Importance of the Moderation Process

Moderation typically follows assessment. If you’re a learner, your final result is only official after it has been moderated. The process is important in the education learning system because it ensures that learners have a credible, balanced experience and that assessments are fair.

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Why the Moderation Process is Important in Education and Training

Moderation is when a qualified expert, called a moderator, puts a learning program under the microscope. A moderator will spot all sorts of irregularities. What learners should know is that training companies often take chances and don’t have their programs moderated before implementation.

What is the Problem With Weak or Missing Moderation?

When training providers submit content for approval, they seldom adapt the content once approved. So imagine that the original content says that a particular program is delivered in 5 days of training. But in reality, employers only want their staff to attend one day of training. The training provider is supposed to adapt and moderate the content before implementation. So this means that if you do the one-day training, you will not receive content that is structured for 5 training days.

Therefore a learning program format must be adapted each time it is delivered differently. However, training providers are notorious for cutting this process out. Unfortunately, many adult learners are just numbers and BEE points. By being informed, learners can ensure that they receive the quality of training that is legislated.

The Moderator Fosters Positive Learning Environments

All learning programs that abide by SAQA policy must be moderated by qualified moderators. This means each learning program is moderated before it is ever implemented.

In South Africa, Quality Councils such as the QCTO expect training providers to moderate programs before submitting them for approval. A moderator spots problems in the learning program. They identify if content is missing or not aligned correctly. They also check that the assessments conform to SAQA principles.

The Moderation Process in Education and Training

Programs are moderated before Quality Council approval and again after assessment. Think of it as a way of analysing and evaluating a specific learning experience.

The Moderation Process Foundation: Positive Learning Environments

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The Process Bridges Theory and Practice

The moderator will check that the theory connects to real-world applications. Also, learning programs must be balanced to prevent overwhelming content. Outcomes-based education requires that learners have time to practice new skills and not just learn by reading loads of content. This in turn enhances the effectiveness of the overall educational experience.

How The Moderation Process Ensures Fairness and Inclusion

We all know that one size does not fit all in education. Moderation recognizes this fundamental truth. For example, it helps ensure that individual learners are not in some way unfairly disadvantaged during the learning program. This also prevents the risk of disengagement or frustration.

We use the term inclusion in education to mean that the learning experience itself is inviting to anyone. For example, imagine you are in a wheelchair but your peers are non-disabled and learning to play basketball. You should be learning with them. You are entitled to the same learning experiences as everyone else. This is because we don’t all learn to play basketball to become league players. But we can all learn basketball for fun, to be in a team, to exercise and so on.

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9 Tips Moderation for Learners

9. The Process Encourages Clear Criteria

Your learning program must be upfront about the specific criteria for assessment. Learners are entitled to transparency and clarity in evaluating performance or learning outcomes.

8. Qualified Moderators are Involved

Learners are entitled to know who their moderator is and what their credentials are. If there is no qualified moderator available then you cannot be certified after you have been assessed.

7. Documenting and Disputing the Moderation Process

There must be documentation procedures to record moderation decisions and disputes. The process must be transparent and provide a basis for quality assurance. This means that every act associated with it is contained in a document. This is important if you have a problem with your course.

6. Moderation is Part of Quality Control:

Moderation in Education focuses on the quality of teaching, assignments, and learning materials. If there is too much content and too many assignments, learners are entitled to complain and question the course structure. If you run into these kinds of problems then there should be a meeting with the class, facilitator, assessor and moderator.

5. Reporting Feedback Mechanism:

There should be a feedback mechanism that allows you to understand the rationale behind moderation decisions. This fosters transparency and promotes continuous improvement within the training organization. So be sure to request constructive feedback on your performance to gauge your understanding of the moderation process.

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4. Moderation Holds Everyone Accountable

The process is important because it holds everyone accountable for their actions. It holds educators accountable for fair and transparent assessment practices and course administrators for effective communication and course organization.

3. Adherence to Legal and Ethical Standards:

Moderation processes must align with legal and ethical standards. Your rights and interests must be observed at all times.

2. Read the Moderation Policy

Familiarize yourself with the educational institution’s policies on assessment and moderation to know your rights and procedures for dispute resolution.

1. Communicate With Your Peers:

Discuss your overall learning and moderation experiences with classmates to gain different perspectives and insights. If you believe there was an aspect of the program that was ineffective and led to unfairness, speak up.

The Importance of the Moderation Process

Now that you understand the important role that moderation plays, you can ensure that your rights as a learner are respected.

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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Daisha Walsh

    Great post! Very informative and well-written. Looking forward to more content from this blog!Thank you

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How is Moderation Important? 9 Learner Tips