National Moderator's Reports

February 2022

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Download PDF: Design and Visual Communications National Moderator's Report (PDF, 143KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internally assessed Design and Visual Communication 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 workshops and short courses introduced this year have complemented the traditional workshops. These can be accessed using your Education Sector Logon. Courses available for Design and Visual Communication include:

  • Making Assessor Judgements (91341, 91342)
  • 91069 Level 1 Presentation Standard
  • Developmental Phases in Graphics Practice.

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

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

Graphics practice

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Understanding Graphics practice underpins the development standards 91068, 91341, 91342, 91629 & 91630. Success in these standards was the subject of a webinar that was jointly hosted by NZGTTA and NZQA, and a short online course. Graphics practice includes the phases of Situation, Design Brief, Ideation, Initial ideas, Development, Ongoing critique, Final outcome and a Final evaluation.

The webinar can be found in the Resources section of the NZGTTA website. Subject-specific short courses can be found on the subject pages on the NZQA website.


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Success in the Level 2 standard 91343 ‘Use visual communication techniques to compose a presentation of a design’ has been seen when the student evidence shows an understanding of layout and compositional principles, including proximity, alignment, hierarchy and the use of positive/negative space. These principles are explored through thumbnail layouts and grid or concept layouts during the development, before arriving at a final presentation.

Success in the Level 3 standard 91628 ‘Develop a visual presentation that exhibits a design outcome to an audience’ has been seen when there is visual evidence of an in-situ display of the presentation, as well the use of the layout and compositional principles of Level 2.

Further success has been evidenced when the student has shown how they have considered both the exhibition space and the relationship of a potential audience with their presentation during the development of the exhibition, including viewer movement through that space and the potential interaction with the exhibit.


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With the continued arrival of new teachers to this subject and different understandings of what rendering is, it is timely to revisit what required for this standard.

The Level 1 standard 91066 ‘Use rendering techniques to communicate the form of design ideas’ is about the foundational skill in Design and Visual Communication of using tone and colour to make a 2D drawing appear 3D. Success in this standard requires the application of different tone values on the different surfaces on a paraline drawing (using parallel lines) or a perspective drawing (using converging lines) relative to an identified light source. This generates a three-dimensional effect on the object’s form and surface qualities. Clarifications and annotated exemplars can be found on the subject page of the NZQA website to provide more guidance.

Research into design movements or eras to inform own design ideas

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Success in the Level 2 standard 91340 ‘Use the characteristics of a design movement or era to inform own design ideas’ is seen with evidence of the combination of research into the chosen design movement or era, as well as the student’s own design work. Students should identify the heritage and the social factors that influenced the emergence of the design movement or era, analyse the elements of design that characterise the design movement or era, and create their own design work that incorporates the identified characteristics of the design movement or era.

The description of the social factors that influenced the design movement could include a description of the preceding and prevailing social and economic environment, and an explanation of how the environment influenced the design era.

The elements of design are derived from the design principles of aesthetics and function, and could include shape, form, rhythm, balance, proportion, colour and contrast, durability, stability and flexibility/rigidity. ‘Design and Graphics in Technology’ is a resource that unpacks these terms, it is available on the resource page of the NZGTTA website.


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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.

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

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