Australian school students will sit their NAPLAN tests online from 2016, the Federal Government has announced.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne guaranteed $24.7 million to construct the online platform to demonstrate the Government’s commitment to helping deliver the better-quality results schools, parents, teachers and students will see from online NAPLAN tests.
“Every year there are concerns raised about ‘teaching to the test’ and stress in the classroom over the national testing regime – NAPLAN online will end this,” Pyne said in a statement. “NAPLAN online will deliver even greater insight into the individual capacity of a student to inform teachers, schools and parents as well as continue to provide the data giving us a national snapshot.”
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Chariman, Professor Barry McGaw, welcomed the announcement, saying its research confirmed that online delivery of NAPLAN tests, tailored by the computer to students’ level of achievement, works well and is more engaging for students.
“ACARA looks forward to moving NAPLAN online as soon as possible – to provide better assessment, more precise results and faster turnaround of information,” Professor McGaw said in a statement. “When students take NAPLAN online, they will get test items that are matched to their level of performance. They will not get items that are too difficult or too easy for them.
“The computer will tailor the test to the students’ achievement level by marking their responses as they work through the items in the tests.
“The same NAPLAN achievement scale will be used, but students’ achievements will be measured more precisely, particularly for students in the high- and low-achieving categories, and results will be returned much more quickly than at present. NAPLAN test items will reflect the Australian Curriculum in English and mathematics, meaning that the best preparation for NAPLAN is for teachers to focus on teaching the curriculum.”