Civics: compare and contrast systems of government

Subject Area: Civics
Author: Callum Henderson, David Adam, Sarah Lerpiniere, Ivana Dimitrovici


Students are to complete a written assessment comparing and contrasting the Australian and Indonesian system of governance. Students are provided with an one page case study on the Indonesian system of governance, and use this information to compare and contrast the differences in the elections, and political system.

Curriculum links

Follow the blue shapes for the curriculum links relating to this assessment.


Procedural Properties

Purpose The purpose of this assignment was to check for student understanding of the key learning goal to know “The key features and values of Australia’s system of government compared with at least ONE other system of government in the Asia region” (ACHCK090). The task is appropriate for testing this knowledge as students are responding to the essay prompt of “compare and contrast the key features and values of Australia’s system of government to the key features found in Indonesia’s system of government.” They are provided a case study to scaffold their ability to provide a response. This activity is not adequate by itself to test this understanding, but will accompany other assignments in the student portfolio. With the aim of gauging student understanding solely for the teacher’s use, it is ethical to collect this information.
Administer Students were told they would be writing an essay on this topic at the end of the previous lesson, provided with a copy of the construct they would be marked against, and given the time between classes to prepare. Desks were separated with chairs moved to the end of the tables as per test conditions. In front of each chair was the essay question, case study information, and 5 sheets of lined paper. Students were made aware that they could acquire more paper as necessary. 5 minutes of ‘reading’ time was given at the start of the activity, with no writing permitted. The teacher should navigate the room scaffolding students as appropriate throughout the task (while also preventing cheating.)

Students were given a full double period to complete the task, and in order to ensure the work was authentic, talking was not allowed. To ensure accuracy, laptops were not permitted and desks were cleared of any potential distractions.

Record To guarantee authenticity, each student had to put their name on their work with the teacher collecting them from students before they could leave their workstations. This ensured that all students had performed the task, and that they were handing in their work. This was complemented by the silent ‘exam conditions’.

While the student’s overall mark was recorded in the teacher’s mark book, a copy of each marked construct was scanned and stored on the school network. This allows other teachers to see the students progress, as well as refer to the student’s progress at a later date. It forms a portfolio of work to ensure adequate information is collected to make a valid evaluation of student learning. All marks were recorded before handing work back to student to prevent students adjusting their scores.

Interpret Students were given a copy of the scored matrix, showing them areas of improvement and achievement. A final mark was recorded and graded against school policy, and a short response from the teacher highlighted what the student had achieved and what they should focus on to improve next.
Use The data collected from this exercise was used to inform future teaching, and assess whether students had achieved the learning outcome.


Outstanding Students… critically evaluate the two forms of government by weighing strengths and weaknesses, and reach a conclusion that is supported by their argument.
High Students… use evidence from the case study to discuss the key features of each system of government in relation to each other.
Medium Students…use evidence from the case study to discuss the key features of each system of government in isolation.
Low Students… recall facts from the case study to demonstrate comprehension.



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