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Why become an assessor

This is general information only and details can vary from study to study

Why become a VCE assessor?
Assessing VCE external assessments provides valuable professional development, interaction with colleagues and an opportunity to contribute to the VCE external assessment process.

All appointed assessors receive a full day's training which covers all aspects of the assessment process.

During the course of training, a broad range of student responses are explored to establish clear and consistent benchmarks for all assessors.

Appointment as a VCE assessor is recognised by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) as approved professional development.

What experience is needed to be a VCE assessor?
Teaching experience at VCE Units 3 and 4 of the study applied for.

What is the application process?
Applications are taken online by accessing the SSMS website: https://www.ssms.vic.edu.au

The SSMS helpdesk can be contacted by email (assessment.administration.vcaa@edumail.vic.gov.au) if assistance is required to lodge an application. Also, you can refer to the troubleshooting advice given in the main menu.

What information should be included in the application?

  1. Length of time teaching at VCE Units 3 and 4 level
  2. Length of time teaching the particular study at VCE Units 3 and 4 level
  3. Previous and current places of employment
  4. Experience in marking VCE external assessments and other related curriculum or assessment roles with the VCAA or similar roles in other jurisdictions
  5. Any professional development in VCE Units 3 and 4
  6. Suitable referees
  7. Educational background & qualifications.

Are there any conditions or requirements?

  1. VCAA Conditions of Appointment
  2. VCAA requirements associated with declaring any close relationships and associations
  3. VCAA roles and responsibilities

All appointed assessors are required to abide by the VCAA Conditions of Appointment which must be accepted immediately after any offer of appointment.

Close relationships or associations
Applicants must declare and identify any close relationships or associations in relation to the VCE external assessment(s) if they are appointed to assess. This includes:

  1. Any student enrolled in the study they are closely related to or associated with as defined in the Conditions of Appointment
  2. Any student enrolled in the study they teach, tutor or coach (for VCE Languages this may include students attending practice oral examinations))
  3. Any school at which they teach the study, supervise VCE examinations or are otherwise connected to/involved with by professional or personal association.
Applicants will be asked to declare all known close relationships or associations before any training or work is undertaken.

Assessor roles and responsibilities
Assessors are required to:

  1. Follow assessment practices and procedures as required by the VCAA
  2. Abide by the Conditions of Appointment and declare all close relationships or associations
  3. Familiarise themselves with the assessment procedures prior to the Assessor Training Meeting
  4. Attend a compulsory full-day training meeting
  5. Assess external assessments independently in accordance with the advice and procedures outlined in the assessor manual* and the marking guide** for the external assessment
  6. Make themselves available to meet marking requirements and deadlines for the relevant external assessment as specified by the VCAA
  7. Maintain the security and confidentiality of all assessment information and materials
  8. Provide feedback to the Chief Assessor and/or VCAA VCE Assessment Project Manager (as requested).

*The Assessor Manual is CONFIDENTIAL as it contains important administrative and procedural information which all assessors need to be familiar with.

**The marking guide is CONFIDENTIAL as it provides detailed and clear instruction on how each question in an examination should be interpreted and marked.

Assessor Training Meeting
A training meeting is held for assessors before any marking commences.
These meetings are usually full-day events running from 9:00am - 5:00pm.

Attendance at the training meeting is compulsory - an appointed assessor who does not attend the meeting will not be permitted to assesss.

The main purpose of the Assessor Training Meeting is to ensure consistent and independent application of the marking guide.

At each training meeting there will be information regarding the VCAA's requirement for confidentiality and security of student response and practice marking. The meeting will also include the procedures, timelines and expectations associated with the marking process.

Scheduling of training meetings
Training meetings dates are published via the Assessor Info Database link on the SSMS Bulletin Board. This is updated regularly throughout the year as the training dates for the various processes become available.

It is sometimes necessary to schedule training meetings during school hours. When this occurs a Casual Relief Teacher (CRT) payment to the assessor's home school is made available (where necessary) to release the teacher from their duties and to cover the teacher's absence.

When a training meeting is scheduled on a day an assessor would normally be required at school, they must inform their principal and ensure they have approval to attend. When training does not occur in school hours or where the assessor is not currently teaching at a school, a training payment is then made available to the individual.

The VCAA will provide Principals with information about the appointment of staff from their schools, the dates of training meetings and the availability of CRT payments to secure the release of staff.

Marking expectation
All student work is marked independently by at least two assessors.

Assessors are expected to mark consistently throughout the marking period. This not only ensures marking is completed according to defined timelines, it also ensures a fair result for the students whose work is being assessed. Marking expectation and guidelines will be addressed at the Assessor Training Meeting.

Written examinations
Most written examinations are marked in the assessor's home while a small number are marked at the VCAA Assessment Centre in Coburg.

The actual amount of marking expected to be completed by assessors varies between external assessments and depends on variables such as cohort size, the defined assessment schedule and the number of appointed assessors.

Written examinations are assessed online using either ePEN or VOSS. Both systems are secure websites which allow assessors to mark online, rather than use pen and paper.

ePEN
ePEN is an external contractor managed system which allows assessors to view and mark student work online.

Assessors work independently and mark one item at a time.

An item can be either a single question or a number of questions grouped together. Assessors will normally mark 20-30 of the same item before moving to another item.

You will need an internet connection at home that can facilitate the setup of ePEN to score an external assessment.

VOSS
VOSS is a VCAA managed system which allows assessors to enter scores for student work directly onto the VCAA database.

In most cases, assessors will be required to read a student's response material (answer book) then enter scores for each question using VOSS.

Assessors are allocated a prescribed number of examination papers to mark. If marking from home assessors will be paired with another assessor for the initial marking phase and be required to swap papers with that partner at the conclusion of the first round of marking.

Wherever possible, assessors will be paired with someone living in close proximity however this is not always possible.

Assessor pairing will be discussed in more detail at the Assessor Training Meeting. In most cases, external assessments scored using VOSS will be marked from home, however a small number are assessed centrally.

Assessors will need an internet connection at home that can facilitate the setup of VOSS to score an external assessment.

Performance and Language Oral examinations and Extended Investigation oral presentation
Performance and Language Oral examinations and the Extended Investigation oral presentation are marked at VCAA managed venues across metropolitan and regional Victoria throughout October and early November. Wherever possible, assessors will be allocated to a venue in relatively close proximity however this is not always possible.

Personal expenses are covered by the VCAA in specific circumstances according to its published Reimbursement guidelines.

The number of assessing days will vary between examinations depending on variables such as cohort size, student timetabling, venue size, location and availability as well as the number of appointed assessors.

Applicants are requested to make themselves available for as many days as possible during the marking period. This provides greater opportunity for allocation of marking days and facilitates flexibility in generating assessing schedules.

Applicants for VCE and VCE VET Music examinations need to be aware that weekends are utilised to timetable students and therefore you may be asked to work weekends if appointed.

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Page last updated: 24 March, 2017