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Transition to NAPLAN online delayed

Following a meeting of Australia’s education ministers, the national online rollout of NAPLAN has been postponed until 2021, after connectivity issues and computer glitches impacted numerous students who took the test online earlier this year.

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Video: Answering student NAPLAN questions

Ahead of upcoming 2019 NAPLAN testing in mid-May, Jenny Donovan, Executive Director for the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation at the NSW Department of Education, provides expert advice for Year 7 and Year 9 students about to sit the test.


Helping educators to navigate NAPLAN

Animal protection charity, Voiceless, has launched a series of free new resources that are designed to assist teachers of Years 7 and 9 who are preparing for NAPLAN. Read more

NAPLAN, PISA results

NAPLAN 2018 National Report released

The 2018 NAPLAN National Report, published by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), has revealed significant cumulative gains in various domains since the testing was introduced in 2008.

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NAPLAN, PISA results

Gonski calls for NAPLAN to be scrapped

A recommendation to remove the current approach to national testing and replace it with sample testing of students across Australia has been submitted to the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) review of NAPLAN.

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NAPLAN, PISA results

Putting teaching before testing: teachers score NAPLAN

As students around the nation begin the 2019 school year, education expert at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Dr Don Carter, says focussing on learning outcomes and a coherent curriculum should be a priority for schools, rather than placing an excessive emphasis on NAPLAN preparation.

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Online versus pen and paper NAPLAN testing

Head of School at the School of Education at University of Newcastle, Professor John Fischetti, discusses his thoughts on the move towards online NAPLAN testing.

AEU calls for NAPLAN review

The Australian Education Union (AEU) has slammed this year’s NAPLAN online trial, labelling the data collected as worthless, as it calls for a comprehensive review of NAPLAN and My School.

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Student takes exam

Online NAPLAN results in the spotlight

As NAPLAN continues its transition from paper-based to computer-based testing, the assessment program has made headlines once again amid concerns that the data may be too difficult to be meaningfully compared.

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Video: NAPLAN results 10 years on

Professor John Hattie speaks with 7.30’s Leigh Sales about NAPLAN, 10 years on from its implementation.

Tony Church presents his insight into interactive displays in schools

NAPLAN Online gains positive reviews

Hundreds of schools around Australia have begun trialling NAPLAN Online. The executive director of NSW’s Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, Jenny Donovan, told ABC News schools were polled before the online trials to ascertain the number of laptops they had available and the extent of their online connectivity.

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Digital Transformation Agency not consulted over NAPLAN online

The Education Department has reportedly not consulted with the Federal Fovernment’s digital services agency after its online NAPLAN program experienced technical glitches this year.

Fairfax Media reported that Digital Transformation Agency representatives told senators in an estimates hearing on Tuesday their agency weren’t contacted about fixing the project to shift student literacy and numeracy tests online after the states and territories pulled out of it in April.

Recently, Victorian, Western Australian and ACT governments announced they would withdraw from a trial of the online NAPLAN technology, after South Australia and Queensland withdrew it earlier in the year.

DTA official Nerida O’Loughlin said the program was an Education Department matter and that responsibility for IT projects remained with government agencies implementing them.

Labor senator Jenny McAllister said Education’s failure to involve the agency raised questions about its role.

“We’ve been talking about this for successive estimates and it has struck me that the role clarity about what the organisation is trying to accomplish has been a little deficient,” she said.

Power failures, freezing, browser issues and broken internet connections were just of the issues in the initial trials of the online NAPLAN tests, according to a report by principals.

The online test will be gradually introduced over a three-year period.

The pros and cons of NAPLAN

NAPLAN has been used as a benchmark for student performance against national averages since 2008, but just how effective is the test? And what are the repercussions for students and teachers?

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States not processing NAPLAN trial

New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory are among the states not going ahead with this year’s NAPLAN online testing trial.

Last week, Queensland’s Education Minister Kate Jones confirmed state schools would withdraw from the NAPLAN online testing trial this year.

Queensland’s Catholic and private schools have also followed suit, Education Review reported.

Education Review reported that a NSW Education Department spokesperson said that it wants to see what happens in other jurisdictions first.

The spokesperson also raised concerns about the typing skills of Year 3 students who must sit NAPLAN. NSW, for the moment, plans to adopt the online test in 2018.

The NT Education Department has taken a similar position, according to the online publication. It also has geographical concerns due to its high proportion of regional and rural schools.

The Tasmanian Education Department said it wants students to familiarise themselves with online NAPLAN before having to officially undergo the examination.

Only schools from Victoria, Western Australia, the ACT and South Australia will participate in the online testing trial.

“I’m confident that any and all concerns can adequately be addressed to ensure that this is a smooth process for schools who are involved in it,” Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham told journalists in Hobart.

“The jurisdictions who are continuing with that trial have committed to work closely with officials in terms of technological issues to make sure any and all issues are resolved to their satisfaction so the small number of schools participating in the trial can have absolute confidence that it will work and be successful this year.”

Minister Birmingham added that “transitioning to NAPLAN Online will enable us to have faster results for Australian schools and much richer results in terms of individual student assessments”.

“It’ll make NAPLAN a much better tool in the future, for teachers, principals, parents to be able to get quick, detailed information about where students sit, their competencies and where additional assistance is required, or indeed where extra potential exists in terms of students of high achievement and ability.”

The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority is scheduled to roll out NAPLAN online nationwide by 2019.

Student takes exam

Queensland pulls out of NAPLAN online trial

Queensland’s Education Minister Kate Jones has confirmed state schools will withdraw from the NAPLAN online testing trial this year.

Ms Jones made the announcement ahead of the Education Ministerial Council meeting in Hobart in April.

“I have always said that I would not commit Queensland students to participate in the online NAPLAN tests if they were not ready,” she said.

“I simply cannot commit to a system that might disadvantage our students. We need to be 100 per cent certain that the online tests are good to go.

“However, recent trials conducted by my Department and in other states have identified ongoing concerns about the readiness of the online tests.

“My Department identified flaws with display settings in the online testing platform, which may be confusing for students.

“That is why I have withdrawn Queensland state schools from participating in the trial this year.

“We need to be sure that the system is fully ready so parents and teachers don’t lose faith in the program overall.”

Ms Jones said all Queensland state school students would sit traditional paper-based tests for NAPLAN this year, to be held between 9 and 11 May.

“Around 100 Queensland schools, including 68 state schools, were scheduled to participate in the 2017 NAPLAN online trial,” she said.

“I’ll be informing my Ministerial colleagues that Queensland state schools will delay the trial of NAPLAN online for 12 months, to allow sufficient time for these concerns to be addressed.

“The Queensland Government is committed to NAPLAN, but we expect the online tests to be of the highest standard.

“Last year Queensland students recorded their best ever results on NAPLAN which reflects the hard work that goes on in our schools every day.

“We believe in the concept of NAPLAN online and the potential benefits it will bring for students.

“We’ll continue to work with our national partners so that we can have confidence in the NAPLAN online rollout into the future.”

This year Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory will conduct the 2017 NAPLAN tests as traditional pencil and paper tests.

PISA, NAPLAN reports add to worry over Australian education

Released in the first week of December, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report has highlighted issues in education outcomes for Australian students (tested at Year 9), adding to the weight of other benchmarking reports released recently. Read more