NAPLAN tech checks dumped
The Education Council has announced “robo-marking” will not be used to assess NAPLAN tests.
The Education Council – a joint body comprising all state and territory education ministers – says previous plans for automated essay scoring will be put on hold.
The move follows outcry and from teachers' unions and a strong campaign against it.
“In December 2017, the Education Council determined that automated essay scoring will not be used for the marking of NAPLAN writing scripts,” council chair, South Australian Education Minister Susan Close, said this week.
“Any change to this position in the future will be informed by further research into automated essay scoring, and be made as a decision of the Education Council.”
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) had been the chief advocate for automated marking, insisting it was as good as humans even when assessing narrative and persuasive writing tasks.
Experts had warned that a computer could not tell the difference between decent writing and verbose gibberish, and were not advanced enough to effectively assess creativity, poetry, irony or nuances of writing.
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes last year slammed the plans as “a direct attack on the teaching profession” that had “no place” in schools.
ACARA had had planned for fully automated marking and testing of NAPLAN English tasks to be in place by 2020.
Other moves to transition away from pen-and-paper NAPLAN tests are still underway, despite some schools warning they do not have the technical infrastructure to support it.