English Study Design


Project Team

1999 Project Team Report

The English Study Design in Detail

 A Guide to Planning and Assessment

Cedric Hall: Report on the 1998 year 12 trial

 Terry Locke: "Assessment Standards: What's in a Name?"

 The 1999 Reference Test Trial

 Achievement 2001: Update and Forum

Contact Us


 The nature of achievement standards

This page and its dependent links explores the nature of the achievement standards themselves and the process of development which has lead to the development of the achievement standards in English in their current form.

[For a critical discussion of this process in the context of the development of standards-based assessment in English in the New Zealand context see: Locke, T. (1999). Standards-based Assessment in English: Take 3. Waikato Journal of Education 5, 13-31. For an English Study Design notional version of an achievement standard click on ESD Achievement Standard.)

 The Achievement Standard Prescription

 May 1999 Achievement Standards

 Mike Fowler: Achievement Standards
Using Option 2

 June 1999 Achievement Standards


The Achievement Standards Prescription

According to the terms of reference that were given to the various expert panels, achievement standards:

  • were to be created for the "conventional" school "subjects"
  • for each "subject" at least half of the achievement standards would be assessable externally
  • external assessment might not mean written external examination in every case
  • internal assessment would need to be strictly audited to have the same perceived credibility as external assessment

As formulated, an achievement standard:

  • Would specify the outcome to be achieved
  • Would specify and exemplify the achievement criteria for award of credit
  • Would specify achievement or performance criteria for the award of merit, or excellence grades
  • Would describe content and contexts a student might be expected to have studied

    (To help inform judgement on the quality of response or performance expected)

  • Would describe the kinds of assessment activities (external or internal) through which the meeting of the standard might be observed
  • Would describe the credit to be awarded for successfully meeting the standard (and the level at which it may be awarded)

    (Other explanatory information might be added)

The experts panel was provided with the following template for drafting achievement standards:

Title Summarises outcome from credit
Level Framework level
Credit Value Designated number of credits
Assessment External or internal
Learning Outcomes Knowledge, skills and processes that contribute to the key outcomes in the standard
Assessment Criteria Against which assessment judgements are to be made. There will be three levels of criteria for each standard: credit, merit and excellence
Explanatory Notes References to source documents, definitions,expected content coverage and context. Description of quality and quantity of evidence required to reliably infer that the learner has achieved the required, outcomes in the standard.
Guidance on nature of appropriate evidence may also be given.
Moderation Requirements Reference to the external moderation will be given here

Guidelines for grading (as given to the English experts panel)

  • The title for the AS would describe the outcomes to be achieved for the award of credit, ie a learner who achieved credit in the standard would be able to do what the title says.
  • There would be three grades indicating differing levels of performance within each achievement standard: credit, merit and excellence.
  • Each AS would have one or more key learning outcomes (LOs).
  • As a rough guide to writers of AS at level 1:

    credit would more or less equate with SC C grade + top Ds

    merit would more or less equate with SC B grade + low As

    excellent would more or less equate with good SC A grade

The panels were presented with two broad options for the development of achievement standards:


Two possible examples of this option are shown below.


AS 1

LO 1
LO 3


Each LO has criteria for achievement.
Grades are awarded when certain criteria are met in each LO.



AS 2

LO 1


LO 3

LO 4






Each LO has criteria for achievement.
Each LO is weighted according to importance in the standard.
The total weighting achieved determines the grade, e.g. a total of 6 may indicate credit



AS 3

LO 1


LO 3

LO 4


Each LO has criteria for achievement.
Grades defined by subsets of  LO achieved, e.g. credit may be awarded for achieving LO 1 and LO 2, merit for LO 1-3, (and excellence for LO 1-4)

These two options are referred to in the discussion and critique of the achievement standards as they have been progressively developed by the experts panel.

Back to Update and Forum menu





Sport & Leisure Studies | Graduate Studies | Staff home | Student home | Research | Events calendar


(c)opyright 2000 University of Waikato | about