Release type: Media Release


Online NAPLAN testing supports student performance


The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education
Leader of the House

The Australian Government is committed to moving the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test online, with a new report released today highlighting that moving NAPLAN online is viable and brings numerous  benefits to students and schools.

Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP welcomed the release of the National Assessment and Surveys Online Program, Tailored Test Design 2013 Study by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

“This report clearly shows the benefits of a more tailored online programme for student assessment,” Mr Pyne said

"That’s why the Australian Government is committed to moving NAPLAN from a pencil-and-paper based test to a computer-based assessment and is working closely with the states and territories and the non-government sector.

“ACARA’s research suggests that by encompassing a ‘tailored test design’ – the assessment could deliver questions based on a student’s answer to the previous set of questions. This would provide students better opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, as well as increase their engagement with tests and their sense of achievement.”

ACARA’s research program, funded by the Federal Department of Education through the National Assessment and Surveys Online Program (NASOP), provided findings on a range of issues to guide the transition of NAPLAN online. It also explored the potential of digital technology to enhance and broaden NAPLAN assessments.

During 2013, more than 250 schools participated in a tailored test design study. Over 2500 students in Years 3 and 5 and 1500 students in Years 7 and 9 completed either numeracy or reading online tests. The students reported feeling positive and accomplished, regardless of their abilities and educational background.

“Moving NAPLAN online will improve the quality of student performance data at the national, state and territory level,” Mr Pyne said.

“Online delivery of NAPLAN will also provide significantly faster turnaround on student results. Schools and parents will be able to see results sooner, and develop appropriate strategies to support and extend their students’ literacy and numeracy skills.”

ACARA will now disseminate the findings from its research programme in order to ensure that teachers, students, parents and communities have timely access to the evidence that will inform the development of future NAPLAN online tests.

The Australian Government’s Students First approach focuses on four key areas that will make a difference to students:

  • teacher quality
  • school autonomy
  • parental engagement, and
  • strengthening the curriculum.

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