The Validation of Assessment for Learning and Individual Development (VALID) program provides online end-of-stage assessments for the science key learning area. These assessments can be used as a diagnostic tool to assist in improving student outcomes in science and as a tool for program evaluation. The test is linked to the science syllabuses, and assesses what students know and can do in science. It also provides useful information about student attitudes towards science.
Three assessments packages are offered:
VALID Science & Technology 6
This test is optional for schools with Year 6 students. Schools with students in Year 6 can participate by registering their full cohort. Teachers of the registered schools will participate in five hours of professional learning and then mark the extended response tasks for their school.
VALID Science 8
This test is mandatory for NSW government schools and optional for non-government schools. Tests are marked externally.
VALID Science 10
This test is optional for schools with Year 10 students. Schools with students in Year 10 can participate by registering their full cohort. Teachers of the registered schools will participate in five hours of professional learning and then mark the extended response tasks for their school.
username: testing, password: science
The VALID program is stimulating discussion within the national and statewide science education community about the nature and requirements of the science key learning area and the design of appropriate and informative assessment tools for school science.
Consultation is a two way process in which the VALID team, interest groups and other areas of the NSW Department of Education exchange information in Stages 3, 4 and 5.
'VALID is really working at the cutting edge of what we should be emphasising in science education if we are to reverse the current situation where, across the developed world, fewer able students are taking further studies in science and most are not at all impressed by the traditional science in schools. There is a real opportunity in NSW of combining the ideas of PISA with the SOLO approach, and I hope it will be grasped.'
Emeritus Professor Peter Fensham
The VALID team participates in relevant statewide and national forums and conferences and consults with academic partners including:
- Associate Professor Debra Panizzon, Monash University, Victoria
- Professor John Pegg, University of New England, NSW.
VALID consults with interest groups that include representation for:
- government school education
- non-government school education
- students, parents and the community
- tertiary education
- teachers and educational managers
- pedagogy, curriculum and assessment specialists.
The VALID team consults widely within the NSW Department of Education to ensure the program is accessible and relevant for a broad range of Year 6, 8 and 10 students. Consultation includes:
- NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)
- regional officers, such as consultants and professional development officers
- school officers, including classroom teachers, who provide detailed feedback during workshops.
The VALID team values the continuing support and involvement of these groups in the program.