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Why become a VCE 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 covering all aspects of the assessment process which is recognised by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) as approved professional development.

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.

How do you apply to be an assessor?
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?
All appointed assessors are required to abide by the following:

  1. VCAA Conditions of Appointment (inc. Code of Conduct, Health Declaration)
  2. VCAA requirements associated with declaring any conflict of interest, in particular close relationships and associations with students and schools
  3. VCAA assessor roles and responsibilities

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

  1. Students enrolled in the study that they are closely related to or associated with as defined in the Conditions of Appointment
  2. Students enrolled in the study they teach, tutor or coach (for VCE Languages this may include students attending practice oral examinations)
  3. Schools 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 when they submit an assessor application, and again if appointed 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 any conflict of interest including 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. Be available to meet all 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.

Assessing timeframe
The VCAA requires assessors to mark VCE external assessments as follows:

  1. General Achievement Test (GAT) - June
  2. Extended Investigation: Critical Thinking Test - August
  3. Music Style and Composition Externally-assessed Task - September
  4. Extended Investigation: Externally-assessed Task written report - September
  5. VCE written examinations - October/November
  6. Performance examinations - October/November
  7. Languages oral examinations - October
  8. Extended Investigation: Oral presentation - October

Assessor Training Meetings
A training meeting is held for assessors before any marking commences.

Assessors are required to travel to the VCAA Assessment Centre or a nearby venue for training

Training meetings are usually full-day events running from 9:00am - 5:00pm and may occur on a weekday or during a weekend. Attendance at the training meeting is compulsory - an appointed assessor who does not attend the meeting will not be permitted to assess. The main purpose of the Assessor Training Meeting is to ensure consistent and independent application of the Assessment 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 expectations
VCE external assessments are marked independently by at least two assessors.

AAssessors 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.

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

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.

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.

Assessors will need an internet connection at home that can facilitate the set up 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 ("bags") 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. Assessors will be paired with someone living in close proximity (however this is not always possible) and assessors will need to travel to swap their bags halfway through the assessment period.

Assessors will need an internet connection at home that can facilitate the set up 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

Assessors will be allocated to a venue in relatively close proximity to where they live however this is not always possible. Personal expenses (eg. Travel) 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: 28 February, 2018