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This article, published in the Herald-Sun on 17 July, quotes PV Executive Officer
Gail McHardy.

New online tests for all Prep to Year 10 pupils

New online tests could help spot knowledge gaps in Victorian students, as well as decreasing stress around NAPLAN.
Ashley Argoon, Herald Sun

July 17, 2019 6:52pm

The online testing platform for Prep to Year 10 students will start with maths and expand to other subjects. Picture: iStockThe online testing platform for Prep to Year 10 students will start with maths and expand to other subjects. 

Victorian students from Prep to Year 10 will soon take regular maths tests online, with other subjects set to follow.

Pupils will take the online tests, possibly as early as 2020, to help inform teachers of the gaps in their knowledge.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is calling for a supplier to create at least 1300 maths assessments, to be housed on a new online platform.

Tender documents reveal the ‘Digital Assessment Library’ (DAL) will include tests aligned to the Victorian curriculum, and be free for all schools across the state — including independent and Catholic campuses.

The Herald Sun understands the DAL online platform will launch with maths, but the digital testing will later expand to other key areas of learning.

Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals president Sue Bell said it was “a very positive” move.

“It’s very hard to assess where students are at in the learning continuum,” she said.

“This would be a very useful tool.

“We’ll be looking forward to it to support teachers.”
The testing could reduce stress over NAPLAN, Sue Bell says. The testing could reduce stress over NAPLAN, Sue Bell says. Picture: Charles Brewer

Ms Bell said regular online assessments would “normalise it and decrease the stress” for future testing, such as NAPLAN.

Parents Victoria executive officer Gail McHardy said schools must communicate with families about any new testing programs so “parents don’t get alarmed and concerned”.

“It’s important that communication is done with parents rather than to parents, so they understand the significance and importance — otherwise, that’s where the angst comes from,” she said.

While the tests will be available to teachers as a support tool — not mandatory — it’s not known whether pupils will be required to undertake testing if their teachers decides to use the program.

The Herald Sun understands results from the tests will be used by teachers and schools only to support teaching and learning, and will not be publicly reported.

The software platform will be separate to that used for NAPLAN online.



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