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Be on a VCE examination development panel

Applications for the examination development panels for the 2018 VCE end-of-year examinations and the 2019 Northern Hemisphere VCE examinations will open on 6 July 2017. Applications close on 13 August 2017.

The examinations being offered on a Northern Hemisphere timetable are Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Chinese First Language, Computing: Informatics, English, English as an Additional Language, Further Mathematics, Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics and Physics.

Panels for the 2019 Northern Hemisphere examinations will be appointed from the applicants for the 2018 examination panels.

Why be a member of a VCE examination development panel?
Setting and reviewing VCE examination questions is both challenging and rewarding. Members of examination development panels develop their expertise in designing and writing examination questions and increase their understanding of assessment techniques.

What do I need to be on a VCE examination development panel?

Members of examination development panels are chosen for their:

  • relevant tertiary qualifications
  • experience and expertise in VCE assessment or other assessment relevant to a VCE study
  • excellent knowledge of the relevant VCE study design (or equivalent)
  • extensive teaching experience at Unit 3–4 level.

Anyone involved in teaching, tutoring or lecturing students or preparing practice examinations in Units 3 and 4 of a study is not eligible to be on an examination development panel for that study.

What is the composition of a VCE examination development panel?

Panel Chair
The Panel Chair leads the panel preparing the examinations, marking guidelines and accompanying documentation. They work with the VCAA Examination Development Manager to coordinate panel meetings, work to VCAA timelines and oversee panel responses throughout the reviewing and production processes.

The Panel Chair is responsible for ensuring that the examination is accurate, conforms to the examination specifications, and is consistent with the requirements of the study design. The Panel Chair will be expected to respond to any queries raised about the examination.

The Panel Chair:
        ■   should have detailed knowledge of VCE curriculum and assessment policy and the relevant
study design (or equivalent)
        ■   should have experience and expertise in assessment practices appropriate to the study
        ■   should be available throughout the development and reviewing process
        ■   should have excellent communication skills
        ■   if applying for Languages, is expected to have excellent proficiency in the language.

Panel Member
Examination Panel Members contribute to the development of the examination by writing questions and answers, reviewing all material and attending scheduled panel meetings. Panel Members assist the Panel Chair by responding to reports by reviewers and attending the VCAA to proofread and sign off the examination (as required).

A Panel Member should have:  
        ■   detailed knowledge of VCE curriculum and assessment policy and the relevant study design     
        ■   experience and expertise in assessment practices appropriate to the relevant study.

Study Specialist
The Study Specialist confirms the accuracy of the theoretical and technical content of the examination, and checks that the examination is consistent with the requirements of the study design. The Study Specialist should have considerable expertise and appropriate qualifications in the subject. This reviewer is required to provide a written report on the examination, which contains comments on the accuracy of content, including diagrams, wording of questions, level of demand, ability to discriminate across the ability range and weighting of different areas of the curriculum against the examination specifications.

Examination Sitter
The Examination Sitter undertakes the examination, providing answers and working for all multiple-choice and short-answer questions. For extended responses the Examination Sitter is required to provide an answer plan. The Examination Sitter provides a written report on the examination, including comments on the clarity of questions, wording and instructions, the accuracy of content, level of difficulty, timing and space allocated for responses.

The Examination Sitter should have considerable and recent teaching experience in the study at Units 3 and 4 level.

History: Revolutions Context Reviewer
Four positions – the persons required must be experts in one of the four contexts studied: American, French, Russian, Chinese.

Ancient History Context Reviewer
Three positions – the persons required must be experts in one of the three contexts studied: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome.

The following roles are required; however, they are not currently open for applications.

Language Script Reader

Script readers are appointed for each language with a listening component. The script reader's role is to read the script written by the examination development panel, in the target language.

EAL Reviewer
The VCAA appoints a panel of EAL Reviewers. Members may be given a range of examinations to work on; therefore, applications are made by role rather than by study.
 
EAL Reviewers check that the language and terminology used within the paper is accessible to students who do not have English as their first language. They are required to provide a written report on the examination paper. An EAL Reviewer must have relevant qualifications and considerable expertise in writing for students who do not have English as their first language.

Applications for EAL Reviewers will open early in 2017.

How do I apply to be on a panel?
    ■    All expressions of interest must be lodged on the SSMS website: https://www.ssms.vic.edu.au     ■    Ensure you complete all fields with as much information as possible.
    ■    Carefully read all information on the SSMS front page before applying.

Where can I get more information?
Enquiries about the requirements of these roles, including eligibility, should be directed to the VCE Examinations Unit on phone: (03) 9032 1789 or email: examinations.vcaa@edumail.vic.gov.au