Last week it was announced that all the states have withdrawn from this year’s trials of NAPLAN Online. Ten percent of Australian schools were meant to be participating in the trial this year, but technical issues have led to concerns that students won’t be properly tested.
ACARA, the body in charge of administering the tests, is disappointed that the trial will not go ahead this year as planned. However, ACARA chief Robert Randall said in a statement last Wednesday, ‘I respect the decision of states and territories to delay transition to allow more time to gain a greater level of confidence for the move online’.
ACARA still intend to roll out NAPLAN Online nationwide by 2019, with initial trials taking place in some schools next year. The aim is to provide, ‘better assessment, more precise results and faster turnaround of information’.
Preparing your students
Assessing writing online is particularly controversial, as discussed in the following article: Will NAPLAN’s online move hurt creative writing? To address these concerns, it is important to start preparing students for this change by providing plenty of opportunities to write creatively on desktop computers, laptops and tablets.
Here is a list of our Top Ten Tips to get you started:
- Use the editable planning templates on Seven Steps Online: Narrative Story Graph and Persuasive Story Graph.
- Draft narrative and persuasive texts electronically rather than just typing up the final draft.
- Practise editing on-screen by placing the cursor at the correct point rather than deleting lots of text.
- Familiarise students with the layout of the QWERTY keyboard, e.g. use laminated ‘keyboards’ in spelling lessons.
- Speed up keyboard awareness using apps such as Pot Smash to scan for letters and symbols.
- Speed up students’ typing using typing games, e.g. www.typinggames.zone.
- Teach students how to access the keyboard on a tablet.
- Teach students how to access a range of punctuation marks on PCs and tablets.
- Practise wearing headphones and clicking on prompts to get instructions.
- Set writing activities online using the Verso app and get students to post their responses and comment on each other’s work.
A huge thank you to Jane Weir from Bertram Primary School for sharing these fantastic tips based on their preparations for NAPLAN Online.
For more tips on how to prepare for the NAPLAN writing task, please refer to our Simple Guide to Improving NAPLAN Data.