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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . .

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Parents of students at the participating schools can expect to receive information through school newsletters about the trial. In addition, a web page has also been developed on the Education Directorate's website, with key details on the ACT approach to NAPLAN online, as well as common questions and answers.

At the Education Council meeting on 31 October 2014, Australian education ministers agreed that all states and territories should aim to transition to NAPLAN online between 2017 and 2019. The ACT, as a small, high achieving, technologically literate jurisdiction is better placed than most to implement NAPLAN online. As such, we would hope, pending the outcomes of the trial, to be in a position to start moving to NAPLAN online in 2017.

The sooner we move online, the sooner students, parents and carers, teachers and schools can access the benefits that an online national assessment can bring. However, we need to ensure that we take our community of students, parents and carers, teachers and schools on this journey with us. We also need to ensure that the system is robust and that the assessments that will be undertaken will be accurate.

Technology use for learning and online testing is not new in the ACT. Over recent years, national assessment sample testing has occurred online, and schools have used other online testing resources such as the Australian Council for Educational Research progressive achievement tests and mathletics. Google apps for education are also widely used across ACT schools for learning.

In the ACT we have proactively worked in partnership with Catholic and independent schools in preparing and trialling NAPLAN online. It would be ideal in a small jurisdiction for all ACT schools to transition to NAPLAN online together, rather like the way ACT schools commenced the transition to the Australian curriculum together.

Importantly, moving to NAPLAN online brings new opportunities for students and teachers that are limited or not possible with paper-based tests. NAPLAN online will deliver a style of assessment that accurately measures student performance against the Australian curriculum that is better, more precise and faster than NAPLAN paper testing. By moving to NAPLAN online student results to parents and schools will be returned within a three week period, rather than a current three month process to receive results. This timeliness will increase the relevance to each and every student and deliver real benefits for teachers as they plan for their classrooms.

Integral to an online system is the introduction of a tailored test design which will better target questions to students based on their ability. Students in each year group across Australia will no longer undertake exactly the same paper test. As a student progresses through the test, their path will get harder or easier depending on the ability of the student. This provides schools with richer, more targeted and detailed information on what a student can do. Tailored testing better responds to the needs of all students, including those students with disability. It is expected that adjustments available for NAPLAN now, or comparable adjustments, will be made available for students with disability to allow them to access NAPLAN tests online.

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