In 2017, a test of the national online assessment platform offered further evidence that NAPLAN Online was ready for 2018.
In October 2017, four Queensland state schools joined a number of their interstate counterparts to test the full functionality of the online assessment platform.
The test replicated a NAPLAN Online testing experience and included the four NAPLAN domains of numeracy, reading, conventions of language and writing.
Participating schools were supported by the Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority (QCAA), which managed each test session.
This followed the successful School Readiness Test in September 2017. A total of 186 state and non-state schools in Queensland completed the School Readiness Test in September 2017.
The readiness test helped schools become familiar with the national platform and check their technical readiness.
Through the test, the schools:
- confirmed they have sufficient bandwidth, wireless connectivity and devices
- trialled online assessment administration processes and logistics
- supported teachers and students to become familiar with the NAPLAN Online assessment platform and confident with technology-enhanced questions.
The collective learnings of the Queensland schools that took part in the test will help all schools as they transition to NAPLAN Online in coming years.
Generally, teachers found it easy to set up and manage test sessions.
Students reported their preference for online assessment over paper, with one Year 5 student saying: 'I much prefer online testing to paper testing. It's how I learn and what I prefer.'
School leaders and teachers were pleased to see the level of student engagement with online testing.
According to a deputy principal, one of our Year 5 boys refused to write anything in the May paper test. 'Yesterday, when presented with the online format, he punched out at least 200 words, with no coaxing at all.'
Support for schools
The department, Queensland Catholic Education Commission and Independent Schools Queensland worked with QCAA to provide transitioning schools with training and support materials such as videos and guides.
The technical requirements for transitioning state schools were rigorously checked by the department.
In 2017, departmental representatives visited some of the remotest schools in Queensland including Mount Fox State School, Homestead State School and the cattle station-based Cameron Downs State School east of Mt Isa to test if NAPLAN Online works.
Testing proved that the technology worked without incident, reaffirming Queensland's meticulous approach to supporting schools.