NAP – Civics and Citizenship sample assessment starts soon

The NAP – Civics and Citizenship sample assessment is soon to be delivered in 630 schools across Australia with approximately 12,000 students participating. The assessment represents the first official use of the new online assessment platform, which will also host NAPLAN online from 2017, and other local assessments. A rigorous selection process has been used to ensure the sample represents Australia’s Years 6 and 10 cohorts. 

All participating schools have nominated a preferred test day between 17 October and 4 November 2016. Schools are currently working through a number of preparatory steps, including installation of a locked-down browser and various technical checks of all assessment-designated devices. These preparatory steps are essential to ensure the smooth administration of the assessment on test day. 

Visit the ‘Parent/carer support’ page or 'School support' page of the NAP website for more information.


NAPLAN Online passes its first test

ACARA and its partners have undertaken trialling in preparation for the move to NAPLAN online. The results have indicated that NAPLAN online is on track to be implemented from next year and deliver better assessment, more precise results and a faster turnaround of information to those schools going online.

“We are leaving nothing to chance to ensure we are ready to begin the move to NAPLAN online from next year,” says ACARA CEO, Robert Randall, “this is why significant planning, development, research and trialling are going on to make sure we are all ready to move online.” 

Initial results from the trials and studies undertaken this year have been mostly positive. The platform trial and readiness test (PTRT) confirmed that the majority of schools have sufficient capacity to access the platform and administer the online assessment. As expected, a number of technical issues were identified, largely relating to the locked-down browser, local filtering and proxy settings, and wireless access and connectivity issues. Jurisdictions will undertake further analysis to ensure readiness of schools in the lead-up to May 2017. 

Platform trial and readiness test (PTRT)  

During August 2016, students from more than 1,000 selected schools nationally took part in a trial of the new assessment platform for NAPLAN online.  

Students took one or two online readiness tests, which included examples of the full range of NAPLAN online questions and a separate writing test.  

Results received from the trial have been positive:   

  • The platform performed well and the trial confirmed the majority of participating schools could undertake the online assessment successfully and with minimal issues.
  • Students engaged with the online format positively, were focused and said they enjoyed the experience of NAPLAN online.
  • Of those students who participated in a feedback survey, more than 86 per cent liked using a computer for the writing assessment.
  • More than 83 per cent liked using a computer for all other domains (not all students did both the writing and the combined tests).  

About the item trials and studies

Item trials and studies carried out by ACARA have provided information that will help develop the NAPLAN online 2017 test. The online item trial evaluated test items (questions) in a sample of around 180 schools across Australia. 

The scaling study was delivered in around 260 schools in August and September. The scaling study has collected information about the performance of students in the multistage test design (or ‘tailored tests’) to be used in NAPLAN online. This will guide and support the development of the tests. 

The linking study, which will continue until October 2016, is being conducted to ensure that paper-based tests can be compared with the NAPLAN online tests. On completion, around 180 schools will have participated in this study. 

Feedback from schools has been mainly positive. Students found the new online tests engaging; test administrators found the platform easy to operate. Initial results from the study demonstrate that items and tests are performing as expected. Data analysis is now underway. 

“The majority of students were extremely positive about the online testing experience.” 
State school deputy principal, Queensland 

“Students engaged incredibly well, were focussed and later said that they really enjoyed the experience.” 
State school deputy principal, Queensland 

“All in all, we had a very productive and informative day – certainly a great start to our NAPLAN online experience!” 
State school acting deputy principal, Queensland 

Feedback from schools will be used to identify improvements required before the first online NAPLAN assessment in May 2017.     


Why Finland is not a blueprint for Australian education

Read a comment piece by ACARA’s Board Chair, Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz AM, in: The Sydney Morning Herald.


Australian Curriculum website – tell us what you think!

We are undertaking a user survey of the Australian Curriculum website and we want to hear from you!

With over four million user sessions last year, the Australian Curriculum website is a popular place. We want you to tell us what you like about it, what you don’t like, and how we could go about improving it. The survey will be open for the next few weeks and will only take around 10 minutes to complete.

Take the survey