The Moderation of Assessment in Transnational Education: An Off-Shore Perspective
The provision of Transnational Education in Malaysia has grown rapidly since the liberalization of higher education in 1996 as in many countries in the world given the impact of globalization in tertiary education. In many transnational programs, off shore campus degrees are structured to be educationally indistinguishable from those offered in the on-shore campus. In order to ensure comparability and consistency in academic standards between degrees offered on-shore and off-shore, the moderation of assessment practices is seen as a key practice to underpinning assessment equivalence. Not much work has thus far been reported on the moderation of assessment processes in transnational education. Moreover, since the literature is almost silent on issues pertaining to assessment moderation from the perspective of off-shore academic staff, this study sets out to explore the following gaps in the literature. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study is to investigate and understand the issues and extant practices of off-shore teaching staff in relation to assessment moderation practices in their respective programs. The sample of the study was made up of academics from an off-shore Australian program offered at a leading Malaysian private higher education institution. The focus group interview method of data collection was used. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, the excerpts identified and categories established which resulted in several themes. The emergent themes give us a glimpse of a moderation system (or lack of one) riddled with discrepancies, inconsistencies, hierarchical controls, lack of discourse, contextualization, internationalization and a narrow foci. The paper concludes with the discussion of specific implications and recommendations which point towards a reexamination of assumptions underlying extant moderation practices.
Keywords: Assessment Moderation, Transnational Education
Senior Lecturer, American Degree Program, Taylor's University College
Senior Lecturer, American Degree Transfer Program, Taylor's University College