Legal Studies Year 11-12 Communication and Thinking Processes – Resolution and Justice

Subject Area: VCE Legal Studies
Author: Brigid Mulcahy


An assessment task situated within Unit 4 Outcome 2 of the Victorian Certificate of Education Legal Studies Study Design (VCAA, 2010a). This type of task typically consists of two parts. Part A: short response and Part B: extended response. The rubrics provided assess Part B against two strands, “Thinking Processes” and “Communication”. As the rubric does not assess a specific area of key knowledge it is transferable to all areas of the study design.

Curriculum Links

The rubric is designed with reference to the VCE Legal Studies ‘Unit 4 Outcome 2 Performance Descriptors’ developed by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (“VCAA”) and the ‘Progression Point Examples’ for AusVELS Communication and Thinking Processes (VCAA, 2010a, 2013a, and 2013b).

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legal Studies 1 curriculum

Procedural Properties

Purpose Students will demonstrate application of the key skills required to master a 10-mark extended response, higher-order thinking question in VCE Legal Studies.
Administration The assessment is administered as a two-part test, which is the School-Assessed Coursework for VCE Legal Studies Unit 4 Outcome 2. Prior to the test, students will be given the Part B rubric and a range of examples from previous areas of study that represent a low (E), mid (C) and high (A) answer. Students will have 50 minutes to complete the test.
Recording The rubric will be used to assess students’ performance on Part B of the test. Students will also have the opportunity to self-assess against the rubric. Part A will be assessed via a marking scheme.
Interpretation Noise will be reduced through cross-marking with other teachers, comparing results to previous in-class performances and student self-assessment.
Use Students will be provided with feedback on their individual performance and will self-identify future learning goals. A Guttman analysis will be conducted to determine students ZAD and ZPD. The findings of the Guttman analysis will be used to tailor students’ revision for the final exam and to improve teaching and learning of extended response items for future Legal Studies cohorts.


Students critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the operation of the legal system. Students use this evaluation to predict the effectiveness of the legal system. Students present the evaluation in a manner that persuades the audience. A A+ Extended abstract
Students justify their conclusions about the operation of the legal system. Students synthesise ideas in a manner that recognises multiple possible interpretations. Students integrate external material to strengthen their text. B B+ Relational
Students compare and contrast strengths and weaknesses of the operation of the legal system. Students classify these strengths and weaknesses into paragraphs within the text. C C+ Multi-structural
Students describe and explain relevant information about the operation of the legal system, including the strengths and weaknesses of concepts. Students sequence ideas logically within a text. D D+ Uni-structural
Students identify and outline relevant information about the operation of the legal system. Students organise this information into a coherent structure and accurately spell subject-specific language. E E+ Pre-structural
Students provide insufficient evidence to demonstrate the thinking skills of reasoning, processing, and inquiring. Students provide insufficient evidence of the ability to present and communicate information. UG UG N/A
Level Description Construct Levels VCAA Levels SOLO Levels


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Legal Studies 1 rubrics

download pdf

Legal Studies – Communication and Thinking Processes 1 – Resolution and Justice – rubrics file


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