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Jeanz conference discussion on moderation and unit standards


A hard copy of the JTO accreditation and moderation action plan was handed out for reference. This is also posted on the JTO website.

Jim explained the procedure as set out in the document and the trial run which took place at SIT in November.

  • A formula was sent to Louise to select 8 pieces of work from 8 students
  • The group then gathered in Invercargill and had a meeting with the students to get feedback on how the course went. (This resulted in useful feedback on the course).
  • The advisory committee had input at a meeting.
  • A report was generated on the 5 chosen Unit Standards (Work Experience, Shorthand, Media law, ethics, news stories).

Discussion regarding Moderation processes ensued:

  • Are we doing an audit or true moderation?
  • What number of unit standards do we audit?
  • AUT only audit 2 unit standards, page 3 of the handout looked at average of other ITO’s and also the calculations to decide on unit standards selected.
  • Ruth – made the point that AUT along with most tertiary institutes are moderated or accredited in some way every year, with further full moderation every 7 years. This seems to be doubling up the process by JTO?
  • Response by Grant - to have total buy-in by all stakeholders, and with how things are changing is 7 years too long?
  • AUT response – every year, moderation takes place on one of our papers so each individual US has been done by the time full moderation comes around again.
  • Jim pointed out that JTO have a stake in seeing what everyone is doing.
  • Ruth – is there a system which allows us to have all the checks in place and not be loaded with a heap of extra work?
  • Sue – there is no reason why individual reports can’t go to ITO’s for their information (to be assured systems work).
  • Annabel – are you (JTO) aware of what everyone is required to do for moderation individually.
  • Jim - JTO is aware that tertiary is monitored and moderated to death – but also will never meet industry’s demands so need to come to some agreement with industry which all parties agree to.
  • Annabel – we all seem to have differing moderation requirements and need to all put down what we do.
  • Jim – what we (JTO) do must take into account what you already do and integrate with our work – we would like a sense of buy-in from participants especially from small institutes which struggle and buy-in would be the most beneficial.
  • Jim Tully gave Southland’s views on the trial run with two main comments:

Firstly that it was a very constructive exercise – reinforcing JTO were there to help and identify issues and offer constructive answers not, as in the past, a negative experience. All institutes have quality assurance systems so integration was good and less painful. Still not convinced about the value of the meeting with the students – perhaps an end of course survey will suffice, as students were mindful of peers and not entirely comfortable.

Secondly there is a strong need for mentoring – a role Jeanz did not cover adequately – in smaller institutes good constructive advice can be greatly beneficial – workload: JTO can advocate in this situation. And potential for advice, the moderation exercises opens the door for advice and mentoring from Jeanz members and could be extended to the research area also.

  • Ronit - feels in a foreign environment and would like to be able to share ideas or post questions out there to get feed back.
  • Ruth – is there verifiable evidence JTO needs to know US results of internal moderation and does this make AUT (or complying institutes) exempt from other moderation – do industry need to see someone is moderating or do they just need the assurance that quality assurance is happening?
  • Grant – unsure what is process from here? Unclear on the consistency of moderation within institutions and secondly the frequency of moderation – proposal that every 3 years being too frequent, but did agree with changes to make moderation far more clear.
  • Ruth – can we establish what others are doing and are we exempt then?
  • Shenagh – it’s a matter of having confidence in an institute and a process that we understand so if other forms of moderation are used JTO can interpret this information and give confidence that this is okay, the process is working. Industry doesn’t need all the details.
  • Jim – we don’t want the 80’s example to be repeated where only known institutes are used by industry – need to reassure industry that this is a transparent process.
  • Alan Sampson – it would be nice to get full feedback from industry.
  • Jim – let’s do a survey and get feedback from industry.
  • Jim – JTO would be able to assist with the working party travel expenses.


Discussion outcomes:

  • Moderation Working Party formed comprising: Ruth, Brian, Grant, Bernie, Yvonne
  • 1 meeting initially then 1-2 annually.
  • Institutes are to be asked to submit what they are already doing by way of moderation individually.
  • Moderation has to be of the nature that JTO can work with.


Unit Standards

Background given by Jim (JTO). A working party was set up to review unit standards and a report was handed out on what industry wants (or more ‘what the working party thought industry wants’), for participants’ perusal and comment, then the working party to work through the report in more detail.

Discussion topics:

Ron – can the numeric component be separated as own unit standard – possibly combining with the web US?

Sue – AUT has numeracy as 2 Lectures and a test, after a pre-test (80% pass or more).

Jim (JTO) – pointed out there is a new cultural knowledge unit standard but don’t have pakeha one.

Charles - queried how you assess curiosity.

Sue – queried the US ‘hold an appropriate driver’s licence’ pointing out we are not a driving school – and what is an ‘inappropriate’ driver’s licence? – possibly rename as ‘full’ driver’s licence but doesn’t belong in US – perhaps just put into the programme registration/course outline – is there another way of wording?

Annabel - explain their students were told that they should get their licence – and it needs to be in the programme registrations and pointed out, also to allow for the dollars needed to get their licence.

General discussion - This also applies to business dress - Health has first aid as unit standards - Business dress – and briefing students what is required. Some ITOs add to stationery list a sentence stating that they will require business clothes.

George – In cultural knowledge the treaty is mentioned and diversity but what exactly does this mean.

Jim - JTO response diversity not just encompassing ethnic groups but also disability groups such as the blind, deaf, mental illness, etc.

George – needs wording to spell out this meaning – also taking into account how local and international current affairs affect the communities.

David – gave an example of Pacific stories - showing diversity in work outputs and also asked - do tutors have diversity in their own training or is there a need to change/broaden this also?

It was pointed out that some places such as Christchurch do not have the ethnic diversity as others and this makes it hard to implement sometimes.

Cathy – increasing populations, countrywide, are becoming more diverse – perhaps diversity is not the right name.

David – consider including handling spin and not falling for spin -devaluing core media ethics.

Jim - JTO response it has to be included.

David – but where is attached/connected?

Cathy – perhaps accuracy and balance – by not falling for spin.

Brian – need to get a handle on the numeracy issue, numeracy could be embedded into other US and not be stand alone or perhaps integrated in other US by scenario.

Ron – explained how they do a simple maths test initially – but also include in environmental business how to draw graphs etc.

Jim – (JTO) bought up that there needed to be discussion on – rounds, should this be left to level 6 etc.

Ron – for example diversity e.g. health issues come into health not diversity, etc. Also human rights e.g. Maori different to minority rights etc.

Jim - JTO – it is useful to have different perspectives on this.

George – commented how he was not comfortable in linking differing diversity together.

Allan L – noted that an important attribute is attitude and this is not taught noted that TVNZ internal programme was interested in assessing/measuring attitudes.

Jim – (JTO) this is covered in conduct team work US.

Brian - hard to assess.

Cathy – important not to be gullible – fire in the belly stuff.

Yvonne – explained their professional practice where students assess each other and also self assessment takes place, the industry knows that is the assessment they need.

Shenagh – workplace needs perhaps reworked to fit – but was to ensure industry were confident that students could show they understood and were wanting to join the industry.

Annabel – explained their system of students having to write a 1000 word report, get a report from their employer, students report back and tell colleagues.

Ron – queried how to get into practice without threats to non-complying students?

Jim – one way is to stop them going on internships – delay tactics – could prevent getting into industry non-performers – needed to have filled criteria.

Bernie - Is there anything that says that they (the students) have to go on an internship? Is this an omission? The workplace US is really important as it helps shape their future and we need to place emphasis on this, pass ethics, dress, attitude, what to do and what not to do, they don’t go if judged not ready.

Shenagh – possibly need to put more weight on core subjects and less on electives – reason – industry group felt wanted graduates to be strong on the cores – portfolio example given.

Annabel – use features US to nail previously learned stuff at the end of the programme – very valuable for us – if only going to allow 2 credits don’t do it if you can’t do it in depth.

Jim - JTO struggle to keep credit numbers realistic.

Ruth – queries local government stories as a core.

Ron – local/international/global – we are not able to cover them all.

James – Web-based writing, photography – do we have to provide all the electives?

Jim – there is only 1 new one. Of the 5 electives they have to choose 3 - as long as they are offered enough for a choice you don’t have to offer them all.

Annabel – perhaps combine note taking with shorthand.

Jim - Bernie is going to work on this and needs looking at and discussed in great depth so we come out with a more manageable outcome.

Brian – publishable stories not number of published stories? Is this the meaning or should this be clarified/standardised?

Jim - when graduates are in the workplace and there is an identified deficiency in their training then something could be done.

Grant - What would be the industry input?

Jim – the work party headed by Sheena and Brian representing your interest, as in shorthand issue etc.


Discussion outcomes:

  • Working Party to continue work formed comprising: Brian, Annabel, George, Bernie, Grant, Charles, Allan Lee
  • Working party has the ability to co-op when necessary.
  • 1 st meeting to be held in Wellington to set tasks/split workload and report back.