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ACARA presses on with NAPLAN Online preparations

Over the past five weeks, schools across Australia have been taking part in school readiness testing to assess their ICT capacity (including bandwidth, wireless connectivity and devices) for NAPLAN Online and to become familiar with administration and logistics for the assessment.

In NSW alone, 2500 schools participated in the readiness tests. Results from a survey of those taking part showed that schools felt students were more engaged with the online tests compared to pen-and-paper assessments. In NSW, with over 460,000 tests having been completed, feedback has shown:

  • 76 per cent of students liked doing the test online
  • 87 per cent of schools indicated a level of confidence to transition to NAPLAN Online.

As part of the move to NAPLAN online, automated scoring has been identified as a viable solution for marking the NAPLAN writing task. More than 1000 samples of students’ writing and the same NAPLAN marking guide used by human markers have been used to train and customise the automated essay scoring (AES) system.

To provide reassurance of reliability, in 2018 ACARA proposes that NAPLAN writing be marked by both the AES and a human marker, with any differences resolved by a senior human marker. 

Federal, state and territory education ministers have agreed that NAPLAN will move online over a two–three-year transition period, with the expected benefits being better assessment; faster turnaround of results to teachers and parents; more precise measurement of student ability; and a test that is more engaging for students.


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