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Echuca College trials NAPLAN online

Year seven and nine students from Echuca College took part in targeted testing studies on Thursday and Friday as NAPLAN prepares to go online.

REBECCA KERR August 26, 2014 1:12pm
Year seven and nine students from Echuca College took part in targeted testing studies on Thursday and Friday as NAPLAN prepares to go online.
 
The college is one of 300 schools taking part this August and September in the third study to finalise online targeted  test design and its branching mechanism.
 
This will mean students will be directed to certain sets of questions based on demonstrated abilities.
 
Principal Chris Eeles said 25 students from year seven and nine respectively took part in the tests on a variety of devices.
 
‘‘They worked hard and completed the tests on a variety of devices. We tried to make it as realistic as possible using desktops, laptops and iPads which the children favored because they could enlarge the questions,’’ he said.
 
Trial testing in schools will highlight potential issues with the new model such as access to online resources, time constraints, sore eyes and flat batteries.
 
Mr Eeles said Echuca College was lucky it’s students all have their own personal devices but can see bigger schools finding it more difficult.
 
‘‘We only had a small group take part, we will have to look at how we will manage when we have the whole year seven and nine cohorts logging on at the same time.
 
‘‘These trails are only in early days, like anything we should be able to overcome these issues once identified. We don’t want batteries going flat on iPads half way through a test, or children getting sore eyes from staring at a screen,’’ he said.
 
Mr Eeles said he is interested to see how the online model evolves and looks forward to feedback on student results.
 
‘‘The facilitators seemed very very impressed by our children, which is a good thing,’’ he said.
 
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority have been developing a plan to move the NAPLAN tests online since 2012.
 
Its hoped the move will allow students to be tested on their individual ability as well as providing faster turn-around of results.
 
The online model has no set date and 2015 NAPLAN test will be conducted on paper.
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