The Queensland Catholic Education Commission has established a National Online Assessment Capability (NOAC) Implementation Taskforce to guide the move of NAPLAN testing to online platforms in Queensland Catholic schools.
The taskforce is multi-disciplinary and includes specialists in both educational assessment and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) from each of the five Queensland dioceses as well as representatives from Catholic Religious Australia Queensland and the Queensland Parents and Friends Federation.
Liam Garvey, QCEC’s Executive Officer – ICT chairs the Taskforce and delivers the added benefit of also representing the National Catholic Education Commission on the Education Council’s Online Assessment Working Group (OAWG).
A state cross-sectoral working group, the Queensland Online Assessment Working Group (Q-OAWG), has also been formed to ensure a cohesive response across the Queensland schooling sectors and the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA).
Mr Garvey says momentum around the transition to an online platform for NAPLAN testing is starting to build.
“Education jurisdictions have now been asked by the online assessment Program Management Office (PMO) to develop project implementation plans identifying local readiness issues including education implications, ICT capability, risks, costs and timelines.
“An online assessment platform is currently being developed and is expected to be ready for trialling by mid-2016.
“These school-based trials will assist us to understand the issues including what equipment and devices might work best. They will also inform how to prepare students for the online assessment experience and what professional development and training will be required by teachers and staff.
“It is our hope that Queensland Catholic schools will engage in the trial processes. This will enable us to better understand the impacts on students in Catholic schools in Queensland following on from the findings of sample research trials recently undertaken by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
“This development research, released on 2 September, has indicated that students across all year groups generally engage well with online assessments. It is intended to inform further refinements to the assessment platform and also suggest areas where students may require additional support.
“At this stage there is flexibility for jurisdictions to implement the online platform sometime between 2017 and 2019,” Mr Garvey said.
QCEC will hold a full day symposium for Catholic school authorities on 21 October 2015 focusing exclusively on the issue of transitioning to NAPLAN online.
More information about the symposium will be available via the QCEC website in the coming weeks.