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NAPLAN test to go online

Echuca College has taken part in targeted testing studies for NAPLAN.

REBECCA KERR August 28, 2014 3:05am

Year 7 and 9 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 in the third study throughout August and September 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 took part in the tests.

‘‘They worked hard and completed the tests on a variety of devices,’’ he said.

‘‘We tried to make it as realistic as possible using desktops, laptops and iPads, which the children favoured because they could enlarge the questions.’’

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 its students all had their own personal devices but could see bigger schools finding it more difficult.

‘‘We only had a small group take part,’’ he said.

‘‘We will have to look at how we will manage when we have the whole year 7 and 9 cohorts logging on at the same time.

‘‘These trials 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.’’

Mr Eeles said he was interested to see how the online model evolved and looked 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.

It is hoped the move will allow students to be tested on their individual ability as well as providing faster turnaround of results.

The online model has no set date and the 2015 NAPLAN test will be conducted on paper.

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