Moving to online testing

NAPLAN: Year 7's Nash Reidy, Archie Aldridge and Macey Osman preparing for their NAPLAN test at St Joseph's last week. They all agreed with the Department of Education's plan to put all the NAPLAN tests online within the next two years.
NAPLAN: Year 7's Nash Reidy, Archie Aldridge and Macey Osman preparing for their NAPLAN test at St Joseph's last week. They all agreed with the Department of Education's plan to put all the NAPLAN tests online within the next two years.

One school on the Lower Eyre Peninsula will embrace an almost all online National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test next year, with other local schools possibly following suit, after the Department for Education trialed online tests this year.

St Joseph’s School principal Sandra Hewson said all Catholic schools across the state would transition to “NAPLAN online” tests in 2019, and said 23 of about 100 Catholic schools in South Australia participated in this year’s trial.

All schools will transition to NAPLAN online in 2020.

She said the year 3 writing test would still be a paper test but all other components would be online.

Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students participated in the test, which scores them on their literacy, reading comprehension and numeracy skills.

It’s the way of the future...(there will only be) more and more online assessment.

Sandra Hewson

Individual scores are provided to students, parents and teachers, which is then collated and released through various government reports and available on sites such as myschool.

Dr Hewson said a transition to online testing was a positive as test results could be accessed earlier and changes in the classroom could be implemented sooner for students who may need help or require extension.

“The biggest thing for us is results take so long to come through...they’re usually released in late September,” Dr Hewson said.

“It’s one additional piece to supplement what we already do to tell us about student learning,” Dr Hewson said.

Port Lincoln High School acting principal Todd George said the school would know if it would transition to online testing in 2019 in the second half of this year.

Navigator College principal Stephen Jude said no decisions had been made about online testing for the school’s students.

Dr Hewson said the transition was a “positive step” as it reflected the students increasing use of technology.

She said online testing was also being introduced later this year by the South Australian Certificate of Education board in the year 12 English Literary Studies exam - the first year 12 exam to be online.

“It’s the way of the future...(there will only be) more and more online assessment,” Dr Hewson said.

St Joseph’s year 7 student Nash Reidy said he thought the plan to make the tests online was a good decision.

“It’ll make it easier, if you make a mistake you don’t have to rub it out – you can click on a different one (option),” Nash said.

South Australian Minister for Education John Gardner said NAPLAN was a useful tool that helped schools identify how well a student is doing so teachers could ensure each child was getting “the most out of their education.”

He said NAPLAN online would provide results faster so teachers could tailor their teaching to specific student needs.

About 80,000 South Australian students completed their NAPLAN last week, and about 18,500 students were tested online.