QA News

QA News Issue 98
- 14 Dec 2017

ISSN 1170-3318 (Online)


QA News Header 2017 white

QA News is a quarterly publication that brings together the activities from across NZQA.


Chief Executive's News

Karen Poutasi, CE, NZQA

Welcome to the final edition of QA News for 2017.

The holiday season always seems to come along quickly, tertiary students, NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship students will especially appreciate the summer break.

Examinations have finished for the year, but that doesn’t mean our work is done. Marking has begun and it will be a busy period for NZQA as we prepare for NCEA results release in January.

A highlight of the 2017 examinations round for us was the over 5,000 students that were entered into Digital Pilot examinations. We are steadily working towards our goal of having all NCEA examinations available online by 2020, and we are already working on our 2018 Digital Pilots. Read on to find out more about our work in this space.

NZQA plays an important role in quality assuring non-university tertiary education organisations (TEOs), we have undertaken significant work in this area over the past few years, you can read more about our work in the area of quality assurance here.

We have had not one, but two opportunities to showcase the impressive artwork created by NCEA students this year. The annual Top Art exhibition presented student artwork in venues around the country, and the Ringa Toi exhibition, now in its second year, allowed a focus on Toi Māori which proved incredibly popular. One of the artworks featured in Top Art is on our holiday card for 2017.

On behalf of everyone at NZQA, I would like to wish you a happy festive season and we look forward to working with you again next year.

Ngā mihi

Dr Karen Poutasi

Seasons greetings from NZQA

Holiday card

Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season from NZQA.

This year’s holiday card features artwork by Madeleine Muldowney, a former student of Sacred Heart Girls' College in Hamilton.

The artwork was featured in Madeleine’s 2016 NCEA Level 3 Painting portfolio, which travelled in this year’s Top Art Exhibition. The touring exhibition showcases a selection of Excellence-level Visual Arts portfolios in venues around New Zealand over seven months.

Madeleine’s Top Art biography explains how she moved out of her comfort zone of painting figures to explore textural and abstract works with a focus on nature. In searching for an abundance of texture, colour, pattern, space and depth, Madeleine photographed the Hakarimata Ranges in Ngaruawahia.

Madeleine referred to her photographs and various artist models to complete her portfolio.

2017 NCEA and NZ Scholarship examinations

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship examinations have come to a conclusion, the culmination of the 18 months of planning, that precedes any exam season.

This year, approximately 143,000 students were entered for one or more examinations, including 5,100 students who were entered for digital examinations.

End of year examinations are a significant event in the school year. NZQA begins planning for each examination well in advance, and employs hundreds of additional specialist staff to develop, oversee and mark examinations.

Examination papers are developed by a contracted examination development team, which includes experienced teachers who are currently teaching the subject at the level for which they are writing.

This year, when industrial action affected Wellington’s transport services, NZQA worked with schools who ensured students were aware of the potential impact on their travel to examinations, and made arrangements for examination centres to host students from other centres.

NZQA’s Deputy Chief Executive Assessment, Kristine Kilkelly, says the Authority has good procedures in place to respond to situations like these.

‘We have systems and processes in place to communicate quickly with schools in the event of a disruption to examinations or to other services which might impact on examinations.

‘Schools did an excellent job of ensuring students were aware of the transport issues and that they needed to put contingency arrangements in place.’

NCEA results will be released to students on 16 January 2018. New Zealand Scholarship results will follow, on 13 February 2018.

Digital examinations complete for 2017

PNBHS Digital Trial NZQA is developing digital NCEA examinations that reflect the way students are learning in and out of the classroom, and preparing them for the future.

This year over 120 schools throughout the country chose to participate in a range of Digital Trial and Pilot examinations that were offered for a selection of Level 1 and Level 2 NCEA subjects.

Approximately 5,100 students from 55 schools were entered into Digital Pilot examinations. These students were able to sit their examinations in a digital medium, instead of the equivalent paper examination. The Digital Pilot examinations were available in English, Media Studies and Classical Studies.

Deputy Chief Executive, Digital Assessment Transformation, Andrea Gray says that NZQA staff have been working closely with the schools involved in the Digital Pilots, and are pleased with the initial findings.

‘The majority of students who started their examinations digitally completed it digitally, while a small number opted for the paper option prior to starting the examination or, in a small proportion of cases, part way through the examination. NZQA marks all material submitted digitally and on paper, considering all evidence presented by the candidate to produce a final result.’

The Pilots followed the Digital Trial of 15 Level 1 subjects in September and October. These Trials did not count towards a student’s NCEA but could provide evidence towards a derived grade should that be necessary. They were also an opportunity for students and schools to experience assessment in a digital format.

‘Our approach of staged, managed, co-creation with schools is working well. The Trials and Pilots enable schools to participate at a pace they are comfortable with, and provide an opportunity for schools to assess their capacity for digital assessment and its relevance to delivering teaching and learning,’ says Ms Gray.

Surveys of the students’ and other participants’ experiences of the 2017 Digital Trials and Pilots will be analysed and this information will inform the development of future digital examinations. A full evaluation of the external user experience and the psychometric analysis of results will be published on the NZQA website next year.

Planning is already underway for the 2018 Digital Trials and Pilots project, as NZQA works towards its goal of having all NCEA examinations available online by 2020.

‘Next year we would like to support schools who have not participated recently in digital examinations to join us, and welcome back those who have already done so. We also intend to underpin this with a robust research and evaluation approach, so that we can better understand how, and how fast, we could move to more than one digital examination session per year in the future,’ says Ms Gray.

Pictured above are Palmerston North Boys High School students sitting a Digital Trial examination.

Our role in ensuring quality in international education

When students come to study in New Zealand, education providers have an important responsibility to ensure that those students are well informed, properly cared for and provided with high quality education outcomes. More than 131,600 international students studied in New Zealand last year. The vast majority have a great experience, and return home with well-respected New Zealand qualifications.

Our role as the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is to quality assure non-university tertiary education organisations (TEOs). The vast majority of NZQA-accredited education providers are high quality providers who support NZQA’s role of quality assurance.

Over the past fifteen months NZQA has cancelled the registration of five TEOs, of which four providers enrolled international students. This represents 1% of the entire sector we quality assure, which comprises 500 providers. Our integrated quality assurance systems work alongside providers’ own quality assurance arrangements to ensure they are delivering high quality education outcomes for students.

We regularly review our quality assurance requirements and the NZQA Rules that providers must comply with, to ensure high quality outcomes for New Zealand qualifications. Our recent review of the NZQA Rules involved significant engagement from the sector, and allows us to ensure the Rules are clear, reflect operational requirements, address emerging risks and enable us to effectively perform our quality assurance functions. NZQA considers that the recent changes made to the Rules are appropriate for the current situation within the sector.

As always NZQA will continually review sector responses to the Rules and our quality assurance requirements, and take further action as necessary.

NZQA takes seriously its role of ensuring that TEOs comply with quality assurance requirements and there is a strong quality assurance and monitoring system in place. Where our quality assurance functions reveal that a tertiary organisation may not be delivering what is required, NZQA responds and investigates the issues as appropriate.

Our integrated quality assurance system, in which all the components support each other, works alongside providers’ own quality assurance arrangements to ensure high quality education outcomes are delivered for international students and New Zealand’s tertiary education sector.

Top Art concludes

Top artThe 2017 Top Art Exhibition has come to an end, and it received overwhelmingly positive feedback from visitors.

The annual exhibition is a showcase of portfolios from the previous school year that achieved Excellence in one of the five streams of NCEA Visual Arts: design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Deputy Chief Executive Kristine Kilkelly says the artwork on show always receives very positive comments from visitors and venues alike, and this year has been no exception.

“Top Art allows students to see the quality and variety of work that can be achieved with their Visual Arts portfolios, and allows the public to view the outstanding artwork our students are creating.”

Top Art is shown in schools and other venues around New Zealand every year. This year, 57 portfolios were displayed over seven months, including three digital portfolios.

The exhibition was launched at the Massey University Wellington campus in February where all portfolios were displayed. The portfolios were then divided into two tours, one of which travelled the northern part of the country, and the other the south.

Portfolios were shown in 39 venues as far north as Kerikeri and as far south as Invercargill. 

The portfolios for the 2018 tour will be selected after this year’s Visual Arts portfolios have been marked.

To view images from Top Art and to keep informed about future exhibitions, follow us on Facebook

Updated Te Hono o Te Kahurangi guidelines

Earlier this year we updated readers on the Te Hono o Te Kahurangi quality assurance approach that is unique to NZQA’s Quality Assurance Division (QAD).

Te Hono o Te Kahurangi is the name of a unique whare ako framework and methodology used by NZQA to carry out quality assurance in the tertiary sector. The framework recognises ākonga Māori choosing to achieve educational success through Mātauranga Māori as relevant to their worldview, context and practices.

Six dynamic and interconnected kaupapa are at the heart of Te Hono o Te Kahurangi. The kaupapa act as a common point of reference for education and evaluators to guide evaluative conversations and decisions.

NZQA has recently updated the guidelines and quality assurances processes of Te Hono o Te Kahurangi Evaluative Quality Assurance, you can find the information here.

These guidelines inform tertiary education organisations about how NZQA quality assures educational outcomes prioritising Mātauranga Māori and the acceleration of Māori learner success in the tertiary education context.

Ringa Toi celebrates success

Ringa ToiThis year’s annual Ringa Toi Student Exhibition was a great success, with over 1500 people visiting the exhibition.

Ringa Toi was held over five days in September at the Asteron Centre in Wellington. The exhibition celebrates the work of secondary school students working towards achieving NCEA Levels 1–3 with a focus on Toi Māori.

The Excellence-level work showcased a range of Māori art forms including kākahu (wearable art), whakairo, mahi-tā (paint, print, spray), whakapakoko (sculpture) and mahi-matihiko (digital).

Visitors were impressed to learn the artwork was created by students and many commented on the high standard. There was also a great deal of interest in purchasing pieces.

This year, visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to vote for their favourite artwork.

Three students received a People’s Choice Award for their work:

  1. Phoenix Prujean, Otahuhu College (Pictured with Deputy Chief Executive, Russell Wood)
  2. Selena Overhoff, Otahuhu College
  3. Jakaia Williams, Awatapu College

Six others received a Highly Commended or Commended award:

Highly Commended
Whakairo: Phoenix Prujean, Otahuhu College
Mahi-tā: Tarsha Reti, Pukekohe High School
Mahi-matihiko: Mahina Rose Holland Bennett, Western Springs College

Whakairo: Toka Tu Moana Tamihere, Gisborne Boys’ High School
Mahi-tā: Tu Pono Whanga-Whiu, Te Wharekura o Rākaumangamanga
Mahi-matihiko: Lea Jody Rust, Western Springs College

NZQA has been offered the space again for next year, so we can look forward to seeing what the talented artists of 2018 create.

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