Study Skills and Tips


NAPLAN is getting online

posted Feb 14, 2015, 10:54 PM by Adam Yu   [ updated Apr 9, 2017, 11:14 PM by Bo Yu ]

In May of every year, students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 take part in the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). NAPLAN was first introduced in 2008 and has become a routine part of the school calendar in Australia.

NAPLAN, which is part of the National Assessment Program (NAP), is how governments, education authorities and schools can determine whether young Australians are reaching important educational goals.

ACARA (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority) is working towards moving NAPLAN online. The aim would be for students to complete NAPLAN tests using a computer or another electronic device, such as a tablet.

The Australian Government remains committed to a national approach to online assessment, including delivering NAPLAN online.

NAPLAN will continue to be paper-based for 2015. The Education Council, comprising of state, territory and commonwealth education ministers, have agreed that NAPLAN online will be implemented from 2017 on an opt-in basis over two to three years.

Implementation will be determined by jurisdictions, school systems and schools, based on readiness, to ensure an effective and efficient transition.

Moving NAPLAN into a computer-based, or ‘online’, environment brings many new opportunities for students and teachers that are often limited or not possible with paper-based tests.

The benefits of online assessments

Some of the main benefits of students taking part in NAPLAN online include:

  • Assessments will use a tailored test design. Students will answer an initial set of questions and then be directed to subsequent sets of questions based on the accuracy of their responses. Students with a high number of questions correct will be directed to more challenging questions. Students who have a lower level of accuracy in the initial set of questions will be directed to questions that are less challenging.
  • Tailored testing will provide teachers and schools with more targeted and detailed information on their students’ performance on the tests.
  • Use of a computer-based environment provides the opportunity to broaden the scope of the assessments.
  • Delivery of assessments online will significantly reduce the time it takes to provide feedback to schools, students and parents.
  • ACARA research into online assessment has shown that students have engaged well with computer-based tests.

As technology develops, ACARA aims to further refine the delivery of the tests to best use the available technology to provide increasingly sophisticated assessments.

Source: National Assessment Program.

A New Attitude for School This Year

posted Oct 13, 2009, 12:54 AM by Adam Yu   [ updated Apr 9, 2017, 11:15 PM by Bo Yu ]

It’s back to school time again! Certainly, we have enjoyed the company of our children for the summer. As happy as we may be to have them back at their studies, our fondest wishes are reserved for their feelings. We want them to want to return to school. To want to succeed. To enjoy the quest. To work hard, perhaps even harder, this year.

What can we do to help? Three rules of motivation

Motivation comes from inside.

Children motivate themselves when they discover we are offering them something they want. This means that our job is to lead them to understand why they should motivate themselves.

Your child is already motivated to do those things that they feel are important or of value to them. They lose motivation when they are expected to do things they do not understand and that do not appear to be important to them.

So what happens when our kids start back to school seemingly motivated and then lose that momentum? Where does their motivation go?

No matter how hard it is to believe, our kids are capable of logical and rational thought. How they are acting is a direct result of some conclusion or feeling they have – usually not consciously held – about themselves. If they don’t appear motivated, it’s because, deep down, they have concluded that giving the appearance of trying is not in their best interest. If I can’t succeed – don’t try! Or something like that.

The trick for us, as parents, is to make sure that our expectations are properly understood at our child’s level, not just at ours. Ask me why you should learn to succeed in school and I will tell you stuff about success, self-esteem, graduation, university or college, getting a good job and so on. Good answer, but what if you are 10 years old? What does that answer mean? Nothing! It has absolutely no motivating power to the child at all. It must mean something at your own child’s level or it is just rain being shed off a duck’s back.

The Last True Secret

And finally, here is the last, true secret. Motivation is a result of the action you take to achieve your values and goals! Action comes first; motivation follows. For the first few months of every new school year, help your kids devise a study time, help them get and stay organized and make sure they know how to start every assignment or homework piece. Enrolling in a good study program will help.

Help them get started! That’s the key “starting” action! Action first, feelings later. Don’t expect deep feelings of motivation to arrive before action. Start the engines first. The celebration comes later!

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