19 January 2010 Dr Mafu S Rakometsi Portfolio Committee on Basic EducationReport on the Quality Assurance of the NSC
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NSC RESULTS? Introduction to context, principles, approaches and processes Dr Mafu Rakometsi - CEO of Umalusi
Regulatory Framework • Quality Assurance of Assessment • NQF Act Section 27 (h) • The QC must develop and implement policy and criteria for assessment for the qualifications on its sub-framework.
Section17 of the GENFETQA Act • (5) The Council must, with the concurrence of the Director-General and • after consultation with the relevant assessment body or education • institution, approve the publication of the results of learners if the • Council is satisfied that the assessment body or education institution • has— • (i) conducted the assessment free from any irregularity that may • jeopardise the integrity of the assessment or its outcomes; • (ii) complied with the requirements prescribed by the Council for • conducting assessments; • (iii) applied the standards prescribed by the Council which a learner is • required to comply with in order to obtain a certificate; and • (iv) complied with every other condition determined by the Council.
Framework for QA of Learner Achievement • Based on established and existing practices in assessment for certification • Prescribed components of External assessment (examinations) and Site based/ internal / continuous assessment • Use of systems, processes, and procedures to evaluate, inspect, monitor and report on examination systems, processes and procedures of public and private assessment bodies.
Framework for Quality Assurance of Assessment • Evaluation and /or accreditation of assessment bodies • Periodic inspection of assessment systems • Ongoing monitoring of assessment systems • Quality assurance of external examinations through: • Moderation of examination question papers • Monitoring and moderation of SBA • Monitoring the conduct of examinations • Moderation of marking • Standardization of assessment outcomes
Approval of Results • Compliance with minimum requirements • Shift from Moderation to Verification (Moderation for verification) • Emphasis on Assessment Body reports • The monitoring of the conduct of examinations and the moderation of marking as well as the monitoring of the implementation of internal assessment and the moderation of internal assessment is undertaken by Umalusi to verify the veracity of the assessment body reports in respect of these process. • Broadened definition of irregularities (including assessment system processes)
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NSC RESULTS? Standardisation Dr Sizwe Mabizela - Chair of Umalusi Council
Why Umalusi standardises results, and how • Provision of GENFETQA – Council may adjust raw marks. • International practice – large scale assessment systems • Standardisation – process used to mitigate the effect of factors other than learners knowledge and aptitude on the learners performance. • Sources of variability – difficulty in question paper, undetected errors, learner interpretation of questions
Why Umalusi standardises results, and how • Assumptions – for large populations the distribution of aptitude and intelligence does not change appreciably • Process of standardisation • Moderation of question papers • Review of learner performance against historical performance of candidates in each subject. • Statistical moderation of Internal assessment
Why Umalusi standardises results, and how • Qualitative input • Reports (moderator, Chief marker and Internal Moderator) • Umalusi research (post exam analysis) • Responsibility of Assessment Standards Committee • Committee of Council • Responsible for setting and maintaining standards • Observers (SAQA, HESA, Teacher Unions)
General principles applied in the standardisation of examination marks • 1. In general no adjustment should exceed 10% or the historical average. • 2. Adjustments in excess of 10% could be considered at the upper end to increase the number of distinctions in a subject. • 3. In the case of the individual candidate, the adjustment effected should not exceed 50%of the raw mark obtained by the candidate. • 4. If the distribution of the raw marks is below the historical average, the marks may be adjusted upwards subject to the limitations.
General principles applied in the standardisation of examination marks (cont.) • 5. If the distribution of the raw marks is above the historical average, the marks may be adjusted downwards subject to the limitations. • 6. The computer adjusted mark is calculated based on these principles. • 7. For those subjects with a practical component of 50%, raw marks could be accepted. • 8. Umalusi however retains the right to amend these principles where and when deemed to be necessary based on sound educational principles.
Reasons why Umalusi does not disclose standardisation decisions • Process is complex and context driven • Sensitive information • Could lead to varied erroneous interpretations • Prejudicial to learners • International practice • Credibility of the process of arriving at the decision rather than the decision itself.
Standardisation Decisions for 2010 • Way forward • Public interest vs. international practice • Composite report to be tabled with Portfolio Committee • Composite report to be made public
The Class of 2010 • Third cohort of candidates to write the new National Senior Certificate (NSC) • Completely new qualification based on the National Curriculum Statement • Some 642 001 enrolled including (full time and part-time candidates) • Approximately 67,8% of all those who enrolled as full time and who wrote have met the requirements of a pass
Some criteria for comparison • The number of candidates passing • The quality of the results • The standardisation of the exam • The predictive quality of the exam for performance at HE level
The number of candidates passing • Massification is a natural outcome of an education system that is non-racist, non-sexist and democratic • It is the clear that there has been a steady increase over the last decade in the number of learners who enrolled for and wrote the SC and then NSC – notable exception 2010 • The underlying philosophy of the NCS had been designed to ensure that most people achieve the minimum requirement for a pass • The NSC determines a pass or fail by 40% in at least three subjects and 30% in three others
The number of candidates passing :Trends in SC/NSC enrolment and passes Senior Certificate examination results, all schools, 1994-2008 Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009
SC/ NSC examination results and HE SC/ NSC examination results, all schools, 1994-2010 Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009
The quality of the results • Concerns about quality has become a thorny issue and the subject of much debate albeit uninformed at most times. • SA public uses the matric results as the main indicators of quality of the education system and so there is an understandable concern about what these results of a relatively new qualification is saying about the current state of education • It is important however that we interrogate some of our assumptions that inform our beliefs about standards and quality
Assumptions that affect our perceptions • The first assumption is that “more means less” or “more means worse” Stellenbosch University Website: “In the light of phasing out of matriculation exemption and of the distinction between subjects on the higher and standard grade, a significant number of learners will probably qualify for basic admission to university on the basis of their subject combination…..The implication is that many more learners may be able to apply for admission to Stellenbosch University. ……. With this background, it becomes clear why it is necessary for the University to have its own measure to interpret the meaning and value of the new NSC and also to generate additional information in order to make finer distinctions.” • Higher pass rate is as a result of: • Lowering standards • Upward adjustment of marks
Trustworthiness:The standardisation of the exam • Another assumption is that we now use vastly different methods of standardising the results • Responsibility for matriculation results has changed hands: • JMB (1918 to 1992) • SAFCERT (1992 – 2001) • Umalusi (2002 – to date) • The one constant has been the standardisation process used for the examinations. • This is crucial to: • Obtain equivalence of the standard of the SCE across years, subjects and examination authorities • It is also necessary in order to deliver a relatively constant product to the HE sector and to the workplace • Trust in the statutory institutions established with particular mandates.
Umalusi’s research on comparisons of NSC with NATED 550 • Another assumption is that the NCS is of a lower standard than the previous curriculum. • Research completed by Umalusi into the standard of the NCS curriculum confirms that in most cases the NCS presents a greater cognitive challenge • The NCS also represents modern, updated and more demanding versions of previous subjects (Ref: Maintaining Standards Reports 2008, 2009, 2010)
SC /NSC examination results Senior Certificate examination results, all schools, 1994-2010 Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009
Senior Certificate examination results Senior Certificate examination results, all schools, 1994-2008 Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009
Quality Assurance of the 2010 National Senior Certificate Examination Vijayen Naidoo – Sen. Manager : Quality Assurance of Assessments
Scope of the quality assurance processes Moderation of Question papers Number of NSC 2010 question papers moderated
PURPOSE • to ensure that the question papers are of the required standard • To ensure that the question papers are relatively: - fair - reliable - representative of an adequate sample of the curriculum - representative of relevant conceptual domains - representative of relevant levels of cognitive challenge • External moderators Moderation of question papers
Moderation of the question papers Approach • Question papers set by panel of examiners – DBE • Internally moderated by DBE • Externally moderated by Umalusi • Subsequent moderations and approval.
Moderation of the question papers Examples: • Approved at 3rd moderation (CAT; History; IT; Life Sciences P1; Math Lit P2; Physical Sc P1 etc.) • Approved at 2nd moderation (Business Studies; Economics; Life Sciences P2; Maths; Physical Sc P2 etc.) • Isizulu FAL P3 & Sesotho HL P1 rejected at 1st moderation.
Moderation of the question papers Findings • Technical Criteria • Internal moderation – quality of internal moderator reports. • Content coverage • Cognitive Demand • Marking Guidelines • Language and Bias • Predictability
Moderation of the question papers Maths Lit P1- Content coverage
Moderation of the question papers Civil Technology- Cognitive Weighting
Moderation of internal /continuous assessment • Internal assessment refers to any assessment conducted by the provider, the outcomes of which count towards the achievement of the qualification • panels of moderators / subject specialists • Moderation at all levels • Directives for internal assessment Scope of the quality assurance processes…
Purpose • Ascertain the appropriateness and standard of the assessment tasks being developed within colleges • Ascertain the degree to which assessment bodies/provinces are attempting to ensure standardisation across • Determine the extent and quality of internal moderation and educator development • Determine the reliability and validity of the assessment outcomes Moderation of internal assessment (cont.)
Moderation of SBA • Previous model - moderation of learner and educator portfolios at the end of the year. • Implementation of new model in 2010 –focus on tasks rather than on portfolios • Ongoing – 3 moderations across 9 PDE’s • Feed back to educators • Improvement in SBA implementation
Moderation of SBA • Findings • Adherence to policy guidelines • Quality of Assessment tasks • Content Coverage • Cognitive demand and difficulty levels • Marking (tools, application and mark allocation) • Internal Moderation • Moderation instruments • Moderation at School level & district level • Feedback and Support
Moderation of Life Orientation • Scope: LO moderated across 9 PDE’s
Moderation of Life Orientation • Findings • Good practice – common tasks • Concerns • Quality of tasks • moderation • Use of rubrics • Physical Education Tasks • Recommendations • At least one common task
Scope of the quality assurance processes Focus of the monitoring visits • Policy development and implementation • Systems, processes and procedures • Plan for assessment and moderation • Availability and training of staff • Planning for the development of learner portfolios and educator portfolios
Monitoring of Examinations • State of Readiness • Avoid duplication • Establish veracity of DBE monitoring processes
Scope of the quality assurance processes… Monitoring of the NSC examination: writing Findings • General Management of the examinations • Candidate registration • Irregularities • Mainly technical • Packaging
Scope of the quality assurance processes… Monitoring of the NSC examination: marking Findings • Delay in commencement of marking • Delay in capturing of marks • Concern with the appointment of markers • Large number of marking centers – security risk
PURPOSE • Moderation of marking determines the standard and quality of marking and ensures that marking is conducted in accordance with agreed practices • Umalusi engages the following during the moderation of marking 1. Pre-marking/memorandum discussion: centralised memo discussions recommended - this will ensure consistency across marking centres 2. Off-site moderation of marking Verification of marking
Scope of the quality assurance processes… Verification of marking • Memoranda discussion meetings • Approved and signed off finalized memoranda/ marking guidelines for all the NSC subjects • Concern with non attendance and pre- memo discussion preparations
Scope of the quality assurance processes… Centralized verification of marking
Scope of the quality assurance processes… Centralized verification of marking Findings • Adherence to marking memo • Provision of alternate answers • Consistency and accuracy • Internal moderation
Scope of the quality assurance processes… Centralized verification of marking Concerns • Change to marking guidelines • Competence of markers • Sample of scripts verified by Umalusi