The Moderation of Liberal Studies School Based Assessment Scores: How to ensure fairness and reliability?

  •  Tao Wang YU    


As part of the ongoing education reform initiated by the Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB), Liberal Studies will become a compulsory subject in senior secondary schools in 2009. It will be one of the core subjects all students must take, besides English, Chinese and Mathematics. Some of the objectives of the subject include cultivating critical thinking, developing generic skills, life-long learning and encouraging students to see things in multi-perspectives. However, aligning the learning goals and assessment will not be an easy task. The traditional forms of assessment may no longer be adequate to assess our students. According to the officials from Education Bureau, the introduction of School Based Assessment (SBA) was deemed more desirable than assessing students by one written examination. But some students are concern about the fairness and reliability of teacher assessments. The issue of moderating SBA project work needs to be addressed. Would teachers be more lenient in judging their students’ work? Do teachers have bias? Should the grades of project be based on exam results? How should moderation be done to ensure fairness? The aim of the present article is to discuss the moderation of school based assessment scores in the new senior secondary Liberal Studies subject and the adjustments schools and the authorities might have to make.

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