Technical glitches cause NAPLAN concern


NAPLAN testing kicks off across the country on Tuesday. But a tech-savvy switch to doing it online, hasn’t come without controversy.

Isla Stanich reports.

TRANSCRIPT

More than a quarter of a million Queensland kids from grades 3, 5, 7 and 9 will take part in this year’s testing.

Most will take the test electronically, rather than with pencil and paper.

But as NAPLAN embraces the digital world, there’s concern that technical problems could disrupt the roll-out.

A number of students have been struggling to log on during recent practice exams.

Some login times have blown out to 30 minutes, with others not successful at all.

Kate Ruttiman, Qld Teachers Union: “Delivering NAPLAN online delivers an artificial construct. Children are used to being assessed in paper form. Getting assessed on a platform that’s unreliable creates a great deal of anxiety.”

NAPLAN is designed to monitor students’ progress and assess key areas of strength and development.

Every test commences at the same time Australia-wide to ensure the accuracy of results.

But teachers are worried students will be at a disadvantage if computers freeze mid-test.

Minister of Education and Industrial Relations, Grace Grace, advises Queensland kids to give NAPLAN their 100%, just like they would with any other assessment.

She also advises students to stay calm if the online test glitches.

Despite opposition, all Australian schools will be expected to run the test, online, next year.

Kate Ruttiman, Qld Teachers’ Union: “In future years we’d prefer to see no NAPLAN at all. Because come the end of the day the most important tests you have in your classroom are against the Australian curriculum.”

As a precaution, this year all participating schools will be provided with paperback versions of the test.

Isla Stanich, QUT News.