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.