ACARA news, January 2017

ACARA responds to sensationalist article in the Courier Mail

31 January 2017

An article in The Courier Mail today focuses on the inclusion of text messages as a stimulus for four comprehension questions on ACARA’s NAPLAN online demonstration website. 

The story does not address that this passage is one of five that have been provided to enable students, parents and teachers to become familiar with how items might be presented in NAPLAN Online in May this year.

The article has focused on just one passage, not the other four types featured on the public demonstration site, from traditional to contemporary. These include various types of other media texts, such as newspapers and film.

At any year level, students possess a wide range of reading ability and interests. In order to precisely measure each student’s strengths and weaknesses, test content must range from the basic to the complex. Because engagement with the test can affect student performance, test developers include a range of passage types, from commonplace applications such as text messages to more traditional “literature-type” passages, all aligned to the expectations of the Australian Curriculum.

Students are expected to be able to analyse, interpret and evaluate these texts, based on content taught through the Australian Curriculum. The test needs to be as relevant and engaging for students as possible.

NAPLAN is expected to be taken online by up to 10 per cent of the student population this year, with the remainder completing the assessments by paper and pencil as they have done since 2008.

The NAPLAN Online demonstration site provides an opportunity for students, teachers, parents and the broader community to become familiar with types of technology-enhanced questions. Visit the NAPLAN Online public demonstration website.

Read an opinion piece from ACARA’s CEO.