Download PDF: Digital Technologies National Moderator's Report (PDF, 141KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internal Digital Technologies standards in 2019.

It does not clarify specific standards but provides further insights from moderation material viewed throughout the year.


Awarding Excellence

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When making judgement for Excellence, it needs to be ensured that all indicators of the Excellence criteria in the standard have been fully addressed. These are outlined in the Explanatory notes. The quality of evidence provided should also reflect the curriculum level.  If the evidence demonstrates that the Excellence criteria have been only partially met, then the grade awarded cannot be Excellence. This is critical in distinguishing between high Merit and Excellence.

Consideration also needs to be given to the overall submission, such as succinctness and clarity.

Many of the new 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 as a result. An effective way of presenting this evidence is often in the form of concise annotated screenshots or a short video that documents the improvements made.

Collecting evidence

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Opportunities are encouraged that allow students to collect evidence through different modes, such as blogs, video clips, etc. Such opportunities allow students to have agency on how best to demonstrate what they know.

Many students are being encouraged to use a variety of evidence, such as relevant text, annotated photographs, and/or audio/video evidence, which strengthens the final outcomes. It is preferred that the length of either audio or video is limited to 1.5 minutes. This approach can significantly lower the volume of written evidence.

Concise evidence is often seen where students have focused on the requirements of the standard. For most standards a detailed process log is not required. For standards with research, students should summarise and analyse the findings rather than provide a large volume of gathered information.

Student wellbeing

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Where students are guided in how to present their evidence succinctly, the quality of their responses improves. When students are aware of the concept that quantity is not an indicator of quality, this also helps to reduce workload pressures.

In terms of student wellbeing, it is also timely to consider the importance of positive contexts and guidance regarding potentially ‘dark themes’ or inappropriate material. While the need for self-expression and realism is not disputed, the mental and physical wellbeing of students in their learning and assessment should be a significant consideration in programmes.

Assessor Support

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The Best Practice Workshops (online and face-to-face) offered by the Assessment and Moderation Team 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, the Assessment and Moderation Team will continue delivering this support model in 2020. Workshops or presentation slots can be requested to provide targeted support to regional or national audiences.

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

More detailed information, including how to request or register for a workshop, can be found on our Best Practice Workshop pages or by emailing

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.


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Outcome statements in external moderation reports

In 2017, moderation report outcome statements changed from ‘Confidence’ statements to ‘Consistency’ statements, as explained in an NZQA Circular at the time.

The previous FOUR ‘Confidence’ statements were changed to THREE Consistency statements. This reduction in the number of categories of statement has, in some cases, resulted in moderation report outcomes previously noted as ‘Confident’ now being noted as ‘Not Yet Consistent’.

It is important to recognise that ‘Not Yet Consistent’ does not imply major issues on the part of the assessor, but that the aspects highlighted can be easily addressed through the advice given in the report.

Updated Clarifications

The clarifications for the new digital technology standards, at all levels, have been updated and can be found on the Digital Technologies subject page.

Updated Level 1 Assessment Resources

The Ministry of Education has reviewed all the Level 1 assessment resources and republished these on TKI. These updated resources give more clarity to the requirements of relevant implications and iterative improvement.