The School Readiness Test is now into its third week, with around 550 NSW schools and 55,000 students having participated in 100,000 online tests.
Teachers have been reporting a high level of engagement from students, who have responded positively to using computers to complete the test instead of pen and paper. Students have said the online format was fun, and easy to navigate and edit work.
Year 3 students at Barrington Public School said:
- "I'd rather the PC version, for sure."
- "I like the drop-down boxes the most."
- "Fun, because you don't have to colour in the silly bubble and write the words any more for the spelling part."
- "I liked the audio, it made it so easy."
Students are surveyed at the end of each readiness test and asked if they preferred doing the test using a computer or tablet. Data from the first two weeks of the readiness test showed a student approval rating of 73% from more than 98,500 survey responses.
Teachers said they value being able to see student progress across all levels of learning ability during the test, so they can target attention to students who need it.
In survey responses from 267 teachers or principals, more than 78% said they were confident about their school's ability to undertake the full NAPLAN Online assessment in the future. These responses – 77.5% from public school staff – broke down the level of confidence as: ‘somewhat confident' (30.3%), ‘confident' (28.1%) or ‘very confident' (20.2%)
One principal commented that good preparation meant the running of the test was relatively seamless.
"This was a great way of assessing what skills our students currently have and how we will need to prepare them for the future assessments," she said.
"We did not have the technology infrastructure in place; we organised a loan and have been able to run the assessments with ease."
The Department of Education has allocated 4,375 additional computer devices to public schools that need extra capacity – more than half of these to rural and regional schools. An additional 322 wireless access points have also been installed in public schools throughout NSW.