National Moderator's Reports

February 2022

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Download PDF: Digital Technologies National Moderator's Report (PDF, 150KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internally assessed Digital Technologies standards in 2021. It provides further insights from moderation material viewed throughout the year.


Using Internal Assessment Evidence Gathering Templates

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The purpose of the Internal Assessment Evidence Gathering Template is to help teachers identify and record evidence of student achievement seen or heard within the teaching and learning programme. These templates do not signal a reduction in what is accepted for each grade, but rather a means of summarising evidence for reporting achievement when more formal assessment has not been possible.

These templates must be viewed in conjunction with the assessment advice forwarded to schools, in order to ensure that valid, credible and reliable assessment has occurred before the standard is awarded. Further guidance can be found here.

Where evidence gathering templates have been used to identify evidence in lieu of a formal assessment opportunity, these should not be sent in for moderation.

Assessor Support

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The Best Practice Workshops (online and face-to-face) offered by Assessment and Moderation Services continue to be viewed by the sector as significantly contributing to improved assessor practice:

“The workshop helped to review my own knowledge, and great to share ideas.”
“It was great having time to challenge my thinking in assessment.”

Based on the success of the ‘on request’ model and the ability to have targeted support, Assessment and Moderation Services will continue delivering this support model in 2022. Workshops or presentation slots can be requested to provide targeted support to regional or national audiences.

Additionally, we will continue to run the Transforming Assessment Praxis programme, an online course relevant to all subjects which helps assessors learn about re-contextualising assessment resources and collecting evidence in different ways to better meet the needs of learners.

New online subject-specific short courses introduced this year have complemented the traditional workshops. These can be accessed using your Education Sector Logon. Courses available for Digital Technologies include:

  • Making Assessor Judgements (91900, 91901, 91903)
  • Relevant Implications.

Check the NCEA subject pages on the NZQA website regularly, as more online courses will be added throughout 2022.

Updated clarification documents have been produced for Level 2 91890, 91891, 91892, 91893, 91896, 91897, and Level 3 91900, 91901, 91902, 91903, 91906, 91907.

More detailed information, including how to request or register for a workshop or online course, can be found on our Assessor Support pages or by emailing

Preparation of materials for Moderation

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Databases and websites

Where the evidence uses PHP and SQL or similar web-based methods, a link to show the database or website running on a webserver should be provided, rather than submitting the evidence to be unpacked into a webserver by the moderator.

Alternatively, a screencast showing the functional database or website operation could be submitted. The video should include some voice-over or subtitles that describe what is happening and explain what the database or website does, and how it functions. Any video submitted should be less than 5 minutes long.

HTML and CSS only websites should be zipped, ensuring that all the components (for example, images, CSS file etc.) are included.

Microsoft Access and other proprietary databases need to be included as part of the submission.

Programming standards

All submissions require digital copies of the source code, as well as other evidence prepared to meet the standard.

For programs written in less commonly used languages, a video of the program being run is required for moderation. The video should include some voice-over or subtitles that describe what is happening.

Students who are using more commonly used languages such as Python, Java, JavaScript, and C# are also encouraged to use video evidence. Version control solutions, such as GitHub, can also be used to reduce the workload. For example, students can focus on producing the testing and debugging evidence in the video.

General issues

A large amount of work is submitted for moderation with embedded links to other evidence.

Assessors need to ensure that all the prepared supporting linked evidence, such as voice-over video files, online project management tools, separate testing documents and any other linked document, is visible to the moderator. When linked files are password-protected, the access settings should be changed appropriately to allow the moderation process to occur.

This evidence could be included in the submission as screenshots.

Where large volumes of evidence are submitted for moderation, as is the case when submissions contain more than one standard, it is helpful to flag where the evidence occurs for the standard being moderated.

Relevant implications

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Many of the Digital Technology standards involve relevant implications. To achieve at any grade, students at Level 1 need to describe the implications, and at Level 2 they need to explain the implications.

The most successful evidence focuses on the 2-3 most important implications, clearly describing or explaining what the implication is, how it is relevant to the outcome, and what they might need to do to address the implication. Students who consider these early in the development process generally demonstrate that they have addressed them for Merit.

Iterative improvement

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Many of the Digital Technologies standards include the requirement for ‘iterative improvement’ for Excellence. Evidence is required showing how students have cyclically tested or trialled parts of the outcome and made deliberate improvements based on the results. An effective way of presenting this evidence is often in the form of concise annotated screenshots, or a short video that documents the improvements that were made.


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Changes to moderation requirement for 2022

Changes have been made to what schools are required to send in for moderation in 2022. Only 6 samples of student evidence must be sent in, one sample each at N, A, M, E, and two more from A, M, E. There will be no level 1 external moderation, unless requested by the school.

Outcome statements in external Moderation Reports

Moderation Report outcomes are reported using consistency statements. These are not based on a numerical assessment of how many grades the moderator agreed with, but on a qualitative assessment of how the overall judgements align with the standard.

Consistent” is used where clear and accurate understanding of all (or most) aspects of the standard have been demonstrated. There may be some misunderstandings, but these are minor.

Not yet consistent” does not imply major issues on the part of the assessor. This is used where a clear understanding is shown of some aspects of the standard, and any issues can be identified and corrected using the feedforward in the Moderation Report.

Not consistent” is used where there are significant issues with the assessor decisions. This may include issues such as assessment materials not being at the correct curriculum level, or when the intent or criteria of the standard have been misunderstood.

Moderating assessment materials

For most moderation submissions in 2021, the assessment materials were not moderated, as most assessment tasks were variations of the NZQA Approved tasks developed by the Ministry of Education.

NZQA welcomes the submission of innovative assessment tasks. An overview of case studies showcasing how innovative assessment practices have been implemented in schools can be found on the Spotlights homepage, with the full case studies on the Future State section of the NZQA website.

Computing 1–4 Unit standards

NZQA is no longer the standards-setting body for these. Responsibility for these unit standards has been transferred to the Toi Mai Workforce Development Council. NZQA no longer moderates these unit standards and cannot provide advice on them. Moderation requirements will be advised by Toi Mai.

Please click on this link to give your feedback about this report.

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